The statues of liberty

This picture collage is a collection of the brilliant works of Liberty Shuro

This picture collage is a collection of the brilliant works of Liberty Shuro

Tsitsi Ndabambi
At the age of six in Bulawayo, Liberty Shuro had already discovered his talent and passion of working magic with his pencil.

Those visual statues, where he would freeze images in time with the artful magic of his hands, forever celebrating beauty with his godly pencil, would later in his life be the optical ‘statues’ that would bring financial liberty for liberty; as he could make a living from them.

But as he was growing up Liberty was being discouraged from doing hand art and was surrounded by a lot of negativity but that was never a dream stopper for him.

He later took a one year art course at Mutare Polytechnic College and today he is enjoying the fruits of his labour while climbing his success ladder.

For Liberty, it has been a thin line between the artist’s dream and reality, and now that reality has flourished into a bed of roses for the 24-year-old fresh hand artist.

With his magical hands and a pencil, he does observational drawing and also uses reference photographs to draw amazing images which when placed together one cannot differentiate the resemblance.

Perhaps, even, just perhaps, the eye approves of his hand drawn interpretation than the photograph as being the original!

“I do this because I appreciate the special ability that I have been given by God our greatest artist. I love drawing because it’s the only thing I have found in which I can lose my self completely. It makes me see things clearer and clearer until my eyes ache,” he remarked.

“My favourite artwork is one of three titled Zebra Love. I love it because of the level of detailing on the piece. It creates some stunning illusions to the viewer’s eye.

“I am inspired by German artist Dirk Dzimirsky as well as Kelvin Okafor, Munyaradzi Chibaya, Marvellous Mangena and John Mahove.”

Some of his eye catching artwork is the rare specie the wild dog and the elephant proudly displaying its long trunk and the twin tusks all in black and white.

But he is not without his own vanity, naughtily adding the hare as part of his collection which is what his surname, Shuro, is. What is art without celebrating oneself-no?

Liberty has shared his work with the world on social media and through joint exhibitions with various artists, the biggest being the annual Wild Geese Art Festival in Harare where he made lots of sales and got more clients who commissioned him to do more work which paid him as handsomely as his charming boyish good looks!

His latest breakthrough is going to be the Worldwide Botanical Art Exhibition which will be held on the 17th of May 2018 in Johannesburg South Africa at the Everard Read Gallery where all four of his artwork which he submitted were selected out of the works of 93 artists.

To come out with such wonderful artwork Liberty’s typical day starts with drafting sketches as early as 7:30 am with 30 minute breaks every two hours just to refresh his creative brain, then he goes on to defining the shape and forming the details until he finishes the final piece usually at around midnight if he is more connected. On average he works for 12 hours to finish the magical pictures.

Belonging to a boys only family, he does his part of house chores, cooking and during his leisure time does a bit of reading and video games. Yet drawing makes him happy.

“When I am drawing a particular subject I get connected with it and this brings me joy,” he said; “when I am working and no one is around, I do not feel lonely as I get some sort of connection to my art. I love the peace that would be around me without any disturbances.”

Responding on how he comes up with such artwork he said; “Most of my researching is done through reading. I do research in marketing of my work, field of art ‘realism’ as understanding your field enables you to be professional as you become aware of what you are expected to produce.”

In the future Liberty is dreaming of organising a big solo exhibition that would attract art lovers worldwide as his focus is promoting art in Zimbabwe.

He believes that art should be funded because many aspiring artists lack enough materials and equipment to undertake their projects.

So if these artists get funding to promote their work that would enable them to venture in big projects like organising exhibitions to attract buyers and to enable them market their work effectively.

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