Kundai Marunya Art Correspondent
SCULPTORS housed at Chapungu Sculpture Park have started planting indigenous trees at the art space with intentions to turn the 20-acre piece of land into a botanic garden that will in future allow nature and their work to converge.
Artists at the piece of land located in Msasa Park have already started replacing exotic trees with indigenous ones as they push towards their plan.
This was revealed last week by Chapungu Sculpture Park founder and proprietor, Roy Guthrie, when Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry visited the art space during her familiarisation tour of arts centres in Harare.
“Our vision is to merge stone with indigenous trees, turning the space into a botanical garden where nature and sculpture converge.
“We have been replacing exotic trees with indigenous ones as a step towards attaining our vision,” said Guthrie.
Guthrie showed Minister Coventry and her entourage, which consisted of delegates from her ministry and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, a nursery of trees they intend to plant at their workplace.
“We have over 400 indigenous trees ready to be planted. This year has been a bit too dry, and we are afraid that if we plant them now they may die, so we are waiting for the rainy season,” he said.
Founded by Guthrie around 1980, Chapungu Sculpture Park has pioneered the promotion of Shona sculpture building up the most important permanent collections, which are still in existence.
The Park, formerly known as Chapungu Village collects work by seasoned artists in the genre among them the late Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Henry Munyaradzi, Joseph Ndandarika, Tapfuma Gutsa and Dominic Benhura.
Its adoption of a botanical garden is in-line with many seasoned sculpture parks the world over.