The 'Fine Artists' of Zimbabwe
Most Shona sculptures are abstract works based on traditional beliefs, customs and spiritual concepts. Works by Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Colleen Madamomba, Henry Munyaradzi, Bernard Matamera and Joseph Mdandarika, to name but a few, are in major collections and galleries throughout the world.
A New Ethic
In the early 1980's, as a response to the mass-produced "Airport Art" (as it came to be known), a separate group of sculptors evolved, known today as the 'Fine Artists'.
They set themselves three objectives:
• To only carve the hard, beautiful stones that occur
only in Zimbabwe
There are only a few hundred n the Fine Art movement. Almost all of them living in Harare or Chitungwiza, a town about 10 miles from the Capital, because of the close proximity to the mines and quarries, which are between one and five hours away by car.
Only about fifty of the Fine Artists are true masters. We buy directly, and selectively, from about 40 of them, visiting Zimbabwe two or three times a year to aquire works. We also go to the various mines and quarries to choose good quality stone with our artists and have it trucked to their workshops. This allows us to sell the works at prices considerably lower than the galleries in North America and Europe.