Lack of originality killing local sculptors: Takawira

Tawanda Marwizi Arts Correspondent
Zimbabwe sculptors have come under fire from one of the country’s oldest artist in the industry, Lazarus Takawira. Takawira blasted upcoming artists for lacking creativity and originality. The sculptor, who has made his name through artworks that depict women and the society, expressed sadness at the way upcoming sculptors were killing the discipline.

“Originality is one thing that is lacking in our upcoming sculptors. They are just copying other people’s works and presenting them on different themes,” he said.

Takawira urged sculptors to make original artwork that has creativity.

“That is why you see Dominic Benhura making it big on the international scene. His works are original with creativity,” he said.

The renowned sculptor said the sacrifices made by his mother Amai Alice Tichayewa inspired him to work more on women issues. To date buyers come from different parts of the world looking for his works that depict issues affecting women.

“She worked hard for me after my father abandoned us and that is what inspired me to work on issues that affect women,” he said.

He attributed his theme “Telling Stories” to the stories he was told by his mother when he was still a young boy.

“I understand every artist is inspired by his or her background but most important is the originality of your works as well as creativity. That will take our industry far as well as getting local appreciation,” he said.

Apart from producing works, the sculptor said the messages conveyed by the work gives people the zeal to buy more as well as lifting Zimbabwe’s flag high.

“Zimbabwe is respected worldwide because of stone work but our youngsters are failing to produce works that convey messages key to the society.

“Art is instrumental in transforming the artistic behaviour,” he said.

He gives examples of some of his works that discouraged abortion and baby dumping.

“There was a time when baby dumping and abortion increased and as an artist I decided to work on those pieces. With their meaning they managed to go far,” said Takawira.

He has in the past made sculptures like “Pregnancy,” “Mother and Children” and “The Fighting Couple”.

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