A five artist select multi media exhibition featuring practitioners of entirely varying cultural backgrounds bonded by their creative link in Zimbabwe has switched on immense heat to counter the current nippy state of the atmosphere at Gallery Delta Foundation for Art and the Humanities.Being creators of unlimited parameters, their work poke various subjects regardless of potential backlash from the mighty powers that be.Unification of once repelling materials and provocative thoughts produced an extremely powerful magnetic field which no atom can escape, leaving many wondering and amused.
The vibe has been born of tough aged fibre strands linking with vibrant mutating ones to manufacture an awesome combination.
The ingredient artists include Thakor Patel above seventy five years of Indian origin who migrated to Zimbabwe in 1980, local Gweru born Helen Lieros, 76, of Greek parentage, Zimbabwean born Arthur Azevedo, 81 and Greg Shaw, 44 of European descent and 31 year old Chitungwiza artist Wallen Mapondera.
They are both national major awards winners with solos to their credit who with their unchained spirit continue to manifest, creating like never before, despite the prevailing economic smothering air.
Young Wallen Mapondera has become synonymous with his thought provocative and variety of satiric and allegoric paintings, magnificent linear graphics and multi media three dimensional work which investigate social norms and abuses through the socio-political symbolisms of animals.
In the ‘‘L-I-N-K’’ exhibition he has two huge canvases in oils titled ‘Circus Boys’ and ‘Growing Things’, exploring human oligarchy in use of zoomorphic and anthropomorphic visual templates to present his case. The rest of his pieces are in mixed media for the walls with such themes as ‘‘Love Replaced’’, ‘‘Empty Efforts’’, ‘‘Replaced’’, ‘‘Made Up’’, ‘‘Scarecrow’’, ‘‘Secrets I to III’’ and ‘‘The World that Only Shouts I and II’’.
Master Arthur Azevedo still continues to amaze with his ink, charcoal and chalk drawings of limited accurate lines of varying thickness and darkness mostly of animals and birds. His simplified metal sculptures of steel over the years hugely migrated from concerns of surface and shape to linear dominance of the same subjects giving them sense of aliveness, character and spirit.
The exploration of the ‘‘Bull’’ in both drawing and steel sculpture by far dominate his work, featuring in almost every exhibition he participates in. For the current show he has ‘‘Bull I and II’’ in ink, ‘‘Bull’’ in steel, ‘‘Charging Bull’’ in ink and another one in dry-point.
Most of his pieces have been resized smaller for some years and it isn’t any different with the rest of his showing work which also include ‘Cow’ in steel, ‘‘Don Quixote & Sancho Panza, I in steel and II & III in ink drawings, the same as for ‘‘Goat I & II’’, ‘‘Little Goat’’, ‘‘Two Goats’’, ‘‘Buffalo’’, ‘‘Hammerkop’’ and ‘‘Bull Backview’’ to highlight some.
From India, Thakor Patel brought with him his unique native way of painting and doing graphics which has never been tainted by any external influences.
He has own intricate ways of preparing the primary surface of his work with texture of background colour, allowing the emerging of dense designs like speckled colours.
Precise architectural linear work construct his abstract subjects bearing various shapes and angles, arcs and semi circles, finalized by glowing colour of thee dominant designs from his sub-continent origin.
His work mostly on favoured quality paper is always presented in glass with sparkling metallic frames giving a compact sophisticated appeal to the viewer but for him with generations of the act, everything seem as plain just as he knows the back of his hand. He is offering a four part series of ‘‘Freedom’’, three part series of ‘‘Red Blue Green’’, ‘‘Untitled’’ five art series, ‘‘To People of Africa’’ I & II and ‘‘Planet’’ all in mixed media and ‘Untitled’ a to c ink drawings.
Greg Shaw like the other participants is highly expressional and multi-faceted. In the early days he became renowned for his bold painting with surge of colour dictating composition and incredible draughtsman. .
But his three dimensional multi media has become more imposing with skilful connectivity of various matter especially with his wide selection of found objects, natural materials of earthly colours and all sorts of manipulative combinations of shape and size. In the select show he has a number of digital drawings on paper in ‘‘The Broken Stool’’, ‘‘Run Away Beast’’, ‘‘The Conference’’, ‘‘Self: ID’’ I and III, digital drawings on tissue in ‘Self: ID’ (IV), ‘‘Official Observations’’, ‘‘Outsider Series’’ (I to IV) a to d and ‘‘Mute’’ (IV). Special multi media combinations in ‘‘Oasis’’ of barbed wire, clay, bolts & oil on aluminium, previously showed ‘‘Pipe Dreams’’ I and II in charcoal, soil and metals’ combinations; wood, clay, soil, nails and bolts construct ‘‘Possessions’’ whilst ‘‘Elegy’’ relishes in charcoal and wood.
Magnificent Helen like Arthur and Thakor has been formidable for ages with creativity and technique uniquely individual and she has been incorporating a lot of local issues of concern, of her spiritual Greek origins and her biblical faith in abstraction combinations of textual painting with rich colour from own prepared pigments on various surfaces and objects.
The exhibition at 110 Livingston Avenue, Greenwood Park in Harare will continue emitting latent heat until mid-July 2016.