Ethelartconnect is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with as they have a lot of exhibitions to their name. Their most recent project titled #Mirrorartchallenge a project created by Emilia Rozario, an Italian painter among other things in conjunction with Ethelartconnect Enterprise.
The theme was Reflections of change where people would take selfies with a mirror and make a drawing or a quote on how the pandemic made them feel. Ethelartconnect turned it into a competition for variety so the drawings are now in the process of being judged with a few people to set to win. The winners will compete on a global level and the overall winner will have a chance to see their work published internationally. Rozario intends to create a book based on this so the Winner of the Competition is going to gain a lot.
Ethelartconnect was founded on the precepts of creating a platform for artists to be able to do their work without discrimination. For some galleries you have to be educated to be able to join in but what of those who were denied or those that are not blessed intellectually. This was the thinking of its founder, Ruvimbo Kadyevu when she decided to start this company. So Ethelartconnect has been in the business of promoting the rising artists and helping them will the marketing and promotion of their work through exhibitions and Art classes amongst other things.
Since the company began many art exhibitions are held every Saturday for exposure and the artist would have to do live paintings at Alliance Francaise. Their first big solo exhibition was held there in Harare with a dance crew, live paintings, and various artworks from different artists. Ethelartconnect participated in the Rainbow Towers UN National Youth Summit SDG launch and Ethelart’s owner Ruvimbo Kadyevu’s interview was the only one published. Another big exhibition was at the Kentucky Impact Business Conference in 2019.
In 2020 Ethelartconnect managed to only do three exhibitions before the Covid19 pandemic hit. Artists from Ethelart showcased their work at Zimbabwe’s Arts Festival in February 2020 at the National Arts Centre. The company then attended the University of Zimbabwe`s Art festival in March and on the same day they attended a Musical Concert.
In terms of publicity, the first solo exhibition was published by Zimbabwe’s own Daily News. All these exhibitions were successful because of the sales made and the exposure of some artists who hadn’t had any exhibitions done before. The #Mirrorartchallenge is the best project yet because it became worldwide and Ethelartconnect Enterprise is the next big spot for art lovers. Since these events, there has been a lot of engagement and sponsors for this upcoming new Hotspot.
As of right now, Ethelart continues to encourage their artists and looking for projects so they can be one of the best galleries internationally. The journey is not easy but they hope through team-work, drive and determination they will be among the best within a short period of time. Especially now with the Covid19 pandemic stopping a lot of projects, it’s going to be a struggle but perseverance is key at Ethelartconnect Enterprise.
Brandon was very lucky because he was enrolled in a school that accommodated art from form 1 to 6 at Churchill Boys High. However, he didn’t write an exam as his mother didn’t allow him for reasons she never explained. However, with all that experience it is shocking to know that he only became good at drawing faces in 2020 so the practice does make perfect indeed.
Brandon is very grateful to the owner of Ethelartconnect, Ruvimbo Kadyevu, for the support she has given him. She has helped him even beyond his career so she’s the reason why he dreams of becoming a huge success so he can also help upcoming artists like him.
Life, in general, hasn`t been nice to Brandon but he continues to thrive through it all. He lost his mother in 2015 and due to hardships, he was forced to leave his daily job and take up art as a full-time job. This wasn’t easy as but it had to be done and through God’s provision, he says he has made it, he has met famous people and public figures because of his art.
He has never had it easy but as the breadwinner, at a very young age, he is the breadwinner of his family and art has made it possible to attend to the basic needs of his siblings. He says art has made him closer to his family and they are the ones that give him support. His family consists of his three sisters, older brother, father, and step-mother and they give him strength. He also has three friends that support him immensely. His mother was always his biggest supporter and is the reason why he has held steadfast to his dreams.
Brandon is so proud and grateful to have been able to participate in exhibitions hosted by Ethelartconnect. He did appearances at Alliance Francaise and at Kentucky Hotel. And the motivation lays behind the dream to be his own boss He hoped in a few years he will be his own boss.
His words of advice to upcoming artists are Proverbs 18: 16 “A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
Let’s make Art Whirl around like a healing hand.”
Marshal Chauke Matose
If these words don’t make your heartache then I don’t know what will, they touched me so deeply I almost cried. Marshal Chauke Matose at the age of 23 has already adopted the attitude of a true Master as this is what he has to say to all fellow artists, rising or upcoming. He even now has a trademark name amongst his peers which is “The Great Painter”
Marshal a water-colorist is a man of a few words but speaks great volumes in his artworks on a daily basis. Apparently, he finds inspiration from what he experiences daily with nature He believes each God-given day is filled with mystery and there is always something to appreciate.
The main agenda for his paintings are in creating oneness with nature as he believes that Mother Nature “in her inmost eyes sees how we love her through art.” Marshal says that he remembers his very first paint vividly because it was inspired by a vision he had but he created the piece after talking to his Grandmother based in the United Kingdom.
The vision was of him wearing a heavy and touching sound that had a crystallizing effect on his ears. He didn’t understand till he closed his eyes and tried expressing it through painting and thus he named it “The Little Robin”. I guess it was this crystalizing that influences his becoming a water-colorist.
He is very grateful to his grandmother who bought him his first piece of equipment and stood by him till he was able to afford to buy them on his own. He is also grateful to his friends all over Europe that help him a lot so he can create his art.
On the struggles of being an artist, he says it’s hard to have to accept the reality of not making consistent sales. It’s very hard because that his only source of income but he believes in God’s timing and is sure his time will come.
When asked where he sees himself in the next five to ten years he had an unusual and interesting answer. He just says that he doesn’t really have anything specific he just hopes his hard work, determination, and faith will see him through.
Marshal has done a lot of exhibition and is still amazed at how he got as lucky to perform at some of the huge exhibition he performed. He says you can’t help but accredit it all to God because it doesn’t make sense. For example, he is an Ethelartconnect Enterprises building artist meaning he does a live drawing of the building where an exhibition is done and the drawing is then given gist to the hosts.
To his fellow artist, he says that they should keep on keeping on no matter what and that they should appreciate even the small wins.
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
Zimbabwe’s art industry is making its waves all over the world and some of the legends are still alive and other legacies still live on. The following legends are those that began the work and set the pace for the future. I call them legends because they existed and thrived at a time where contemporary was never defined in the African expression by they set the standard. When I see these I see gods who didn’t have it easy but defied the odds and made it work for them. I do hope after this article you will begin to enjoy the beauty that Art as a whole brings and you. African Contemporary Art is unique because it allows the viewer to redefine art according to how they feel. The question of how does it feel to be African and the visual depiction of the struggles face are seen through the artist’s work. Zimbabwe is no exception to the struggles of politics, sexuality, and many other controversial topics. We will be looking at 5 of the most popular artist in Zimbabwe who have paved the way for what is now solely African contemporary Art.
Henry Munyaradzi 1931-1998
ZimSculpt calls him the poet laureate of Zimbabwe sculptor. The late Henry Munyaradzi is one of the most sought artists in the Zimbabwean sculptor movement. He has 8 solo exhibitions accredited to his name. He became a force to be reckoned thanks to Tom Blomefield who discovered him in 1967 at the Tengenege Sculpture Community. The essence of his work came from the shape of the stone itself and that’s where his imagination came from. His work is “characterized by intersecting, flat rectangular shapes, spheres and cylinders, all harmoniously related He was part of several seminal exhibitions including the Musee Rodin in Paris and the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. It is amazing that he made all this accomplishment because he was known to be very shy and humbly according to Guruve.com. Some of his best work is Water Spirit, Sitting Duck, Hamerkop, and protecting my child amongst many others.
John Takawira (1938-1989)
John Takawira is also part of the most acclaimed sculptors and has a permanent art collection in the Zimbabwe National Art Gallery. Takawira’s strength lay in the art of carving and was helped by his relative John Mariga. Mariga the lynchpin of a group of artists who quarried their own stone and sculpted it. He had one stroke of luck when he took one of his works to the then National Gallery of Salisbury Frank McEwen in 1963 and his work was shown in the Annual Exhibition at National Art Gallery of Salisbury (Zimbabwe). In 1969 McEwan established his own workshop in the Eastern Highland where artists were influenced by nature and my dreams. Takawira increasingly used very rough, natural weathered textures with only a face given a smooth finish. He leaned heavily on his dreams of inspiration in 1981 his exhibition entitled “MY Dreams I which the baboon (shrewdness) owl(wisdom) and the bateleur a=eagle(Messenger between man and ancestral spirits featured prominently, The size of his artwork increase as he believed size dramatizes emotional impact and the boulder-like sculptures would radiate power and strength. Some of his work include Hamerkop, Secretary Bird, and Hunting Owl amongst other
Notable Awards -1st prize, Nedlaw Exhibition, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 1977 Solo exhibition, Standard Bank Gallery, Harare, Zimbabwe,1971 ‘Sculpture Contemporaines des Shona d’Afrique’, Musée Rodin, Paris, France,1970 ‘Sculpture Contemporaines de Vukutu’, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France
The late Boira Mteki initially found an outlet for his artistic talents at the Canon Paterson Craft Centre in Highfield’s in Harare, a center that enabled skilled carvers to make a living from their work. He heard about some interesting raw stone not far out of town and made an expedition on foot with a friend. The raw stone was the pale grey limestone that remained a favorite medium for the rest of his life. They carried the 60kg limestone and he created his first massive and quintessential ‘Head’. It was such a powerful and astonishing work, that Boira and Canon Paterson took it to show Frank McEwen at the Workshop School of the National Gallery. He was so impressed that he invited Boira to join the emerging group of influential artists gathered there, and Boira’s career as an artist properly began. Boira’s work is in the Permanent Collections of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) and of Chapungu Sculpture Gallery. His work was part of various ground-breaking exhibitions and he is now regarded as one of the elder statesmen of the Shona sculpture movement. He needed to make a difference and to motivate upcoming artists so he was instrumental in encouraging fellow artists to move away from using soft stones such as soapstone and to challenge themselves with harder and better materials such as limestone, springstone, marble, and verdite.
Dominic Benhura (1968-present)
Born on the outskirts of Murewa Dominic Benhura is considered to be one of Africa’s greatest contributors to contemporary art. He began sculpting at age 10 under the influence of his famous cousin Tapfuma Gusta. He was an outstanding student and self-proclaimed workaholic. He’s well known for his exceptional ability to portray human feelings through form rather than facial expression. His formal years were spent at Chapungu Sculpture Park and have done many exhibitions in Zimbabwe, Australia, Belgium, Holland, Germany, and America. Dominic combines materials such as steel, wire, and stone to create a beautiful mixed medium. Once when ZimSculpt interviewed him he said “The stone itself is selected for its luminosity and color, and is carved and ground down and reconstructed to create a striking plant of the human form.” His notable works include Euphorbia Tree, Our H.I.V friend, Swing me Mama, The dance of the Rainbirds, and Lazy Sunday.
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
The beauty of African Contemporary Art comes lays in its ability to depict the highs and lows of being an African. Since freedom of expression is not common art becomes the new form of expression. It is a great privilege for us to be able to see fellow Africans making it big in the industry. African Contemporary may not be as great as it’s supposed to be but in the next few years, it’s going to be big. We will be grateful to these individuals for being the pioneers. Watch the space for these artists and what an evolution they are going to make. There may be more but l chose a few as their zeal appealing and good motivation for upcoming artists.
Tracy Rose is a well-known outspoken feminist and she’s considered to be a well-established contemporary multimedia artist. The most important fact though is that she managed to make it right there in her native country of South Africa. Rose is well known for her bold performances, video installations, and arresting photographs works. Like most artists, she is interested in expressing things that affect her as a woman and woman of color and being of a mixed race. So her genre is generally “Politics of Identity” where she tackles issues about body shamming, racial segregation as well as sexual and gender issues. Roses themes often convey mixed race reality and multicultural ancestry and popular culture with sociological theories to evoke a powerful depiction of South Africa’s political and social landscape, In terms of achievement she’s done great she has done a lot of solo exhibitions in South Africa, Europe, and America. The greatest of all her numerous international events was the Venice Biennale.
Messiah Gab is a multitalented artist who has many accolades to her name so he’s just not ordinary. He can work with plywood, plaster, stones, and decommissioned bank notes and he garnered critical acclaim for his traveling exhibition title Museum of Contemporary African Art. This was produced in 1997 at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum-Created. It was in the form of a nomadic exhibition space presented in 12 exhibition rooms set across various European art institutions over 5 years in an attempt to put African art on the map. The greatest achievement was when he sold off his whole exhibition to Tate Modern. He also made various projects in the form of Summer Collection Room, Draft Room, and Museum Restaurant.
Kudzanai Chiurai is coined as ‘brutally honest when depicting the status quo of African Government through a mixture of digital photography, printing, painting, and film” according to Diarra (2018). A proud Zimbabwean who rose to fame in the boldest and ironic way which resulted in him being exiled. He produced an ‘inflammatory image depiction of the now late President of Zimbabwe Robert G Mugabe with horns and swallowed up in flames in 2009. So he was forced to relocate to Johannesburg, South Africa but still managed to be the 1st black recipient of a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pretoria. He is well known for using dramatic multimedia compositions to confront and challenge the most pressing issues in Southern Africa from government corruption and violence, xenophobia, and displacement.
Ibrahim El Salahi
Ibrahim El Salahi is actually considered the “Godfather of African Modernism” and has been in the industry for over 5 decades now. Salahi is into visionary artworks and created his own brand called Surrealism. Surrealism is basically the splitting and combining of Arab and African origins. A former diplomat and undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of culture in 1970. He was also imprisoned for 6 months without charge upon accusations of anti-government activities which is very common in Africa. This obstacle only allowed him to taper deep into his greatness as he is also one of the 1st elaborate Arabic calligraphy in his paintings and the 1st African artist to obtain a Tate Morden retrospective.
Sokari Douglas Camp
Sokari Douglas Camp is a “sculptress” based in London but originally she’s from Nigeria. She moved probably moved there in search of greener pastures since she’s from the 1st generation of African Contemporary Art. This form of art wasn’t common then so the road wasn’t easy but determination and hard work got her on the world map. Her roots can be traced in her sculptures which portray the Kalabari culture and traditions. She is well known for employing modern sculptural techniques with the predominant use of steel to create large semi-abstract figurative works. These worked are often adorned with masks and ritual clothing to depict her relationship to Nigeria. Camp has had numerous solo and group shows all over the world and the greatest accomplishment is in having permanent collections for the Simsothian Institution in Washington DC and the British Museum of London.
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
African contemporary art is finally on the rise after so many years of being repressed, it just may be the next big thing. Firstenberg (2003) says “contemporary African art” implies a particular kind of art that has conquered, or, as some would say, has been absorbed by the international art world and art market since the 1980s. Although African art has always been contemporary to its producers, the term has been redefined over the years. In the 1800s African art was seen as curiosity artifacts and in the 1900s it was defined as Natural History Museums and now in the 20th century according to Dr. Klemmi (2021).
African Contemporary Art is not as popular as European and Western art because it has lacked publicity and awareness. Most Africans were trained in European and American schools so the African expressions are only seen when one connects back to their own roots. The effects of colonialism obscure African art, and the relatively recent introduction of Islam and Christianity has impacted the styles of some African art.
The seeds in African Contemporary are seen now by the various Art schools emerging and a growing number of high-worth individuals and rapid urbanization in Africa especially in East Africa and West Africa. The goal or of African Contemporary art is to analyze the nature of art itself and make the viewer question what it is that defines art exactly. It is a means of expressing how one views social and cultural commentary. So when you see an African art piece remember most African art has multiple meanings and uses, so when you look at African art understand that it more than likely has a complex back story.
It would be an injustice not to mention that a lot of museums host a lot of unprecedented African Contemporary Art all over Europe and North America. Nigeria hosted the 4th edition of Art X Lagos in the first 6 months of 2019 and 1000 artworks were sold around the art. This form of art is growing because where most Art collectors we western now Africans have joined in the buzz. A lot of African artists have performed on a global scale example include Ibrahim El Salahi, Dominic Benhura, Kudzanai Chiurai, and Okeke C Uche, Ntiro Sam J amongst others.
Firstenberg, Lauri (2003). “Negotiating the Taxonomy of Contemporary African Art – Production, Exhibition, Commodification”, in Farrell, L. A., V. Byvanck (eds), Looking Both Ways: Art of the Contemporary African Diaspora. New York: Museum for African Art, p. 40.
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
The late Joseph Ndandarika was born in Harare but grew up in Rusape in Zimbabwe, He was both a Painter and a Sculptor and created a signature tool of mixing the paints on the canvas rather than the palette, a technique that created a highly uneven surface.
His most notable work was “Bushmen Running from the Rain” (1962) Magic Bird” (1962). He inherited a love of art from his mother who was artistic and occasionally worked as a model for the sculptor Job Kekana, another Rusape resident.
It was Father John Groeber and Cornelius Manguma that recognized his talent at Serima Mission in the late 1950s. The two took him under their wings to teach him in drawing and woodcarvings until Groeber introduced him to painting paint several murals inside St. Mary’s church.
In 1959, he moved to Salisbury and later joined Frank McEwen’s Workshop School in Harare in 1960. While he was one of McEwen’s leading painters he specialized in landscapes and witchcraft scenes. The height of Ndandarika’s painting career came when the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) acquired his 1962 oil, “Bushmen Running from the Rain.”
After several years of painting, Ndandarika was sent by McEwen to train in stone sculpture with Joram Mariga. During the mid-1960s he gradually shifted more and more towards sculpting and ended up in all of McEwen’s major exhibitions that made Zimbabwean stone sculpture famous.
The hardest challenge for Ndandarika’s was in getting McEwen to acknowledge Shona mythology by telling him that spirits inhabited the rock formations. This formulation had a major impact on McEwen’s marketing of his sculpture, leading him to claim that his sculptors were unleashing the spirit in the stone in the course of their work.
Another rough period came in his life when McEwen’s left Rhodesia in the 1970s so he had to find his own. However, he had a major comeback in the 1980s that he became part of the Zimbabwean arts revival and so he was remembered as one of the country’s most prominent “first generation” sculptors.
One of Ndandarika’s sculptural works, called Telling Secrets, was depicted on a Zimbabwean stamp issued to commemorate Commonwealth Day on 14 March 1983. It formed the 11c value in a set completed with works by Henry Munyaradzi, John Takawira, and Nicholas Mukomberanwa.
Selected solo or group exhibitions (According to Wikipedia)
1963 New Art from Rhodesia, Commonwealth Institute, London
1964 International Art exhibition, Lusaka, Zambia
1968 New African Art; organised by MoMA, New York, USA
1971 Sculpture Contemporaine des Shonas d’Afrique, Musée Rodin, Paris, France
1981 Retrospective Exhibition of Shona Sculpture, Zimbabwe House, London
1985 Contemporary Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, Irving Sculpture Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1987 International Contemporary Art fair, Los Angeles, USA
1988 Chicago International Art Exposition, Chicago, USA
1988 Australia Art Expo, Darling Harbour, Sydney
1990 Contemporary Stone Carving from Zimbabwe, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK
1990 Stone Sculpture from Zimbabwe, Millesgården Museum, Stockholm, Sweden
2000 Chapungu: Custom and Legend – A Culture in Stone, Kew Gardens, UK
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
When you want to talk about determination, you are just defining this young artist, Gabriel. This young man has a beautiful soul that ignites so brightly when you bring about the topic of art. His specialty is oil graphite painting and you see the soul in his painting, He actually says “I believe that art is magic because of its ability to touch the soul of the viewer.”
When asked what inspires him he simply says that his surroundings but most of it comes from the creativity within. He discovered his love of art at the tender age of 10 but took it professionally after high school. The beauty of it all is that he’s always believed in himself so authenticity has always been his answer to any question when it comes to his art.
He considered himself a very emotional being and believes you cannot be an artist when you are not in tough with your emotions. Being an emotional being he naturally gets very emotional as he remembers how far he has come when we ask about his struggles as an artist. Words fail him when he think of his struggle of being accepted and appreciated for the man he is. He felt all kinds of emotions when people ridiculed him or simple ignored because he was disabled.
What saved him was his authenticity and self-awareness of what he could be that saved him from what could have been a dark place and anyone else would have given up. He was then able to channel all this negativity and express it through art and that was soothing to the soul as art has the ability to heal and confront at the same time. This self-belief and determination were brought to life through one of the best works in his painting titled “I’ll figure it out.”
He’s a believer of Horoscope and says it’s by no mistake he is a Gemini he believes that is why he is creative and observant.
There was so much fire in his eyes when he’s thinking about the future. In terms of hopes and aspirations, he doesn’t ask for too much he just wants to see his artwork being showcased in renowned galleries at an international level.
He’s grateful to Ethelartconnect for the marketing and opening opportunities yet. This will not be the last you hear of him his going to reach greater heights. He says it is hard to be an artist and when you disable the odds are against you more often than not so to have a company that gives you ample opportunity and a platform is mindboggling so he will forever be grateful.
He is a living testimony that you can be or do whatever you set your mind to. His advice to the fellow artist is “Pray to God for leadership and keep dreaming but think different”
His other works include “I loved her first” and “One race, that human race”
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
We are all born with different talents and sometimes we only realize what our purpose or passions are late in life. However, some gifts are unique or rare to come by but they need to be utilized and natured. Art is one of those rare talents that needs practice so a support system is necessary for the artist to come alive. When l say Art am talking about all forms of art especially Painting, Drawing, Sculptor and Poetry.
The brilliant thing about Ethelartconnect is the main focus is on you the Artist and your skill and nothing else. The rest is managed by a team of great supporters who will help you every step of your progress. This article will be a long series for the coming weeks as we take a closer glimpse at the artist at Ehelartconnect Enterprise.
Christwish is a young creative visual artist who believes in God as the name implies and is grateful to him for his talent and success. His drawings are influenced by flowers, human activities, landscapes, animals, and a desire to see young artists thrive. Christwish is a humble young man who enjoys his work as he is living his dream. Although it is a struggle to earn a living he still does the work for the love and enjoys the benefits of his labor. When he is not making enough to get buy he earns a few bucks through Photography.
Christwish first discovered his love for art at age 5 after being taught by his dad and so it wasn’t surprising when he entered the Art Club in Grade 1. He enjoyed every moment he spent in that club but it was at age 9 that his breakthrough would come and a lifetime of opportunities.
He won 1st prize in Grade 4 in a national art club competition hosted by the World Food Program nationwide competition. That same drawing took 5th place in the whole of Africa and it was also 12th out of 88 countries. This was when he knew that art was his destiny and he kept going and the final was then held in Rome, Italy. Talk about opportunity! Here is an artist who knows what he is doing and has had many doors open because of hard work and drive!
This is a rare story because many artists struggle to make it but to have an opportunity come that early in life is a blessing one never once to lose. Christwish has won many awards ever since and he proudly has 18 awards in art and 3 are national awards. To have the blessing and support of his parents is the greatest achievement according to him.
Christwish is multitalented but he considers himself more of an impressionist painter but he also does abstract realism and does drawing and is quite a good sculptor.
It is common for a writer to have writer’s block as it is common for artists to get what l will coin artist block”. I asked the young man about how he unblocks and he had a mindboggling answer he does it by shooting pictures or studying more skills in art. Wow!!
His greatest achievement would be becoming one of the greatest World Class Artist to live and to mentor other artist too.
Ba Ropa is a multi-talented man, who paints, draws, and does Sculptor and is very hopeful for the bright future ahead. He is also a proud father who wants the world to know he is proud to be a dad a trait we need more men to carry. Ba Ropa wasted no time studying anything else except Art education and Art production at Masvingo and Gweru Polytechnic and Great Zimbabwe Universities respectively. Interestingly he was taught the Western art school but being the creative artist he diversifying it to African-inspired art.
His love for art began in the 90s when he was in primary school and had the rare gift of having the support of part of his parents, sisters, and lectures at University. The burden to make it was made lighter as he a support fanbase in his family and Lecturers. He considers himself lucky as he’s able to buy his own art materials as that is one of the obstacles many artists faces.
On where he gets his inspiration from he says from day to day encounters and nature. He also considers himself a very cultural man so culture plays a major role in his work. He also gets motivated by other artists both those that have left us and those who are still alive.
It is ironic that the artist that he admires is not even an artesian but a musician and the reason why he is a follower is because of his fame and mastery. The musician is the Congolese man, Kofi Olimide who’s been in the music industry for a very long time. He hasn’t had any major accomplishments but he believes he’s going places as he thanks Ariyana for connecting him with Ehelartconnect.
BaRopa is a multitalented man because apparently when he’s struggling to create an artwork he either plays mbira or studies art. This is an interesting observation because it seems artists use art to unwind. He hopes to have a following in the Art Industry and hope he will inspire other artists.
BaRopa is generally a happy soul especially when he is in the studio it will be like he will be in his whole. Art is a form of expression so these hopes and aspirations are seen within his work.
Having talent is one thing but being able to master it and evolve it makes one a genius. This young man is an artist who is self-taught who says his mastery of art became at the age of 5 and 6. If memory serves him right his family said they knew he would pursue art at that age because of the “masterpieces” he used to draw on the sand.
Chitate’s love for art began in his formative years in primary school where he drew a dozen drawings using a pencil. He remembers himself at the age of 5 clearly getting good grades from one teacher for producing the best patterns. All through the 7 years of primary, he was always at the top of his class in Art class so he decided to continue to pursue arts.
One of his biggest regrets in life was “ I was given a choice between studying Art and Woodworks a practical subject and chose Woodwork because l thought l was good at Art already so didn’t need to study it.
In 2003 while pursuing a course in engineering he turned his talent into a business opportunity. He began doing commissions with fellow students and even today he still survives on these commissions. In 2006 after moving to Mutare within a space of two weeks he got a place to advertise his work which was great because he then gained a following in clients.
Chitate’s proudest moment was when he produced 100 artworks within a period of 2 years. The fruits of his labor became fruitful in 2009 when he won the Graffiti Award at HIFA and the following year, 2010 also. He then had an opportunity to have his first exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 2015. However, through Ethelartconnect there were many Exhibitions and more is yet to come.
What Ethelartconnect has brought to the table for him is having various platforms to produce and sell his work at various Exhibitions hosted by them. He gets a lot of ideas and gets motivated as he interacts with other artists and admits Ethelartconnect produce a great marketing platform as he has gained a lot of clientele with them.,
He owes his progress so far to his composure and diligence especially with the graphite pencils he works on. He commends himself for moving gradually to Acrylic paints. To those wondering what Acrylic paintings us it is a fast-drying paint that is water-soluble but becomes water-resistant when dry. A graphite pencil is also called a lead pencil, they have a thin graphic core embedded in a shell and is ideal for artists as it’s stronger than an ordinary pencil and it’s always shop ad clean and doesn’t smudge easily so the drawing will be sharp and clean.
The first people to believe in him were his Uncles but his parents joined the support system when they saw his talent. Other support he has obtained from seeing and engaging other artists especially those focused on Portraiture. He says his “aha” moment when he captures the emotions or feelings of a person on paper.
For Chitate when it comes to the inspiration he gets it from UK bases artist Rolf Harris. What captivated him about Harris was the man’s beginning and up to now, ‘That what l call determination.” Harris specializes in Oil painting and with every stroke, he brings alive every aspect of beauty in his subject. When He is struggling to find inspiration to draw he watches other fellow artists and watching other artists working on YouTube or Instagram.
In ten years from now, the vision is to be a fully functional artist who is fully dependent on himself for finances. After he has established himself he hopes to inspire other upcoming artists and to be sharing his skill and talents with the whole world.
By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)
Every picture tells a story and it is important for one to know the story behind a painting or sculptor. Walter Benjamin once said the aura of artwork is lost in the reproduction of the work so Art is just not the same any-more. The authenticity in any piece of artwork is what makes it beautiful. The media often distorts this due to political correctness or other policies so people never get the full experience of an artwork,
The aura has vanished in our modern-day age because art has now become reproducible and people can purchase classic literature cheaply in paperback. Or a painting can be purchased as a poster and there is another new form of art experience through TV and adverts. Although we may be embracing technology there is just something about staring at original art in a gallery or visiting a unique historic building. The technology helps in the sense that people can connect with the person behind the story through social media articles and articles or even documentaries.
However, if we can then recreate the olden day where art was important and understood we can get the “aura of art back.” This can be done through Art history and through artist telling their stories of how they discovered their first love of art. They then can retell the struggles so upcoming artists don’t give up. As much as we are living in a digitalized world there is something about seeing the real thing and understanding how it came to be.
Here are few stories behind paintings….
In the painting “The Night Watch Story “ by Rembrandt the main focus behind it was of Captain Frans Banning Cocq and his company marching out for war. There painting has about 34 characters in which Rembrandt added a drummer to it for context. The ‘moment” depicted is part of a series of paintings believed to have been depicted by the Captain and his arm. The reason being this army was well known for their fondness of creating paintings.
Then there is “The starry night “ by Vincent Van Gogh in 1889 which was a result of a mental episode. After he had a mental breakdown that resulted in self-mutilation of his ear he voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole lunatic asylum in 1989. This where it is said he produced many of his best works. he produced some of his best-known work. This particular one shows the view from the east-facing window of his room at the asylum just before sunrise with the addition of an idyllic village. Hearing such a story and one’s imagination makes the viewer understand and appreciate the work.
Even though people are modernized they still need to be in touch with reality and what better way to experience art as it is. Just like when you are reading a book and then you see the film, there is never a moment when a movie can bring out the story in the way it is written. So even though you can try and recreate an art there is just some magic missing. Sometimes you just need to fill.
In 2017 l experienced art in a new way through the paintings of Lin Barrie called “The painted Wolf. “which became a foundation for conservation. The painting is of the endangered African Wild dogs and so she also came up with a brand of wines called Painted Wolves Wine” where all proceeds go to the protection of these endangered species.
Behind every piece of art, there is a story being told whether it subtle or huge and art is essential for our future and history lets unite in making it whole again