Five visual artists selected for Italian exhibition Minister Coventry

Tina Musonza Arts Correspondent

This is probably the greatest opportunity they have been granted to showcase their organic talent to the world. And, the venue is the great European country of Italy.

Known as the country of fashion and everything elegant, Italy will provide Zimbabwean artists with the real feel of the world.

Five Pavilion Zimbabwe artists have been selected to participate in the upcoming 60th edition of the International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia.

This was announced yesterday by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts, and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry.

Two females and three males; Gillian Rosselli, Sekai Machache, Troy Makaza, Victor Nyakauru, Moffat Takadiwa, and Kombo Chapfika will battle it out

Announcing the artists in Harare yesterday, Minister Coventry said La Biennale di Venezia was a huge platform local artists could use to showcase the country as well as expose their brands to growth.

“We are here today to announce the Pavilion of Zimbabwe’s seventh consecutive organisation of the Pavilion of Zimbabwe at the 60th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, this feat being crucial as no other African country has maintained its presence on the International stage at what has affectionately deemed “the Olympics of the Art World,” she said.

She said the exhibition in Italy had the vast potential of securing markets for the local work of art and growing the arts sector in line with the National Development Strategy 1.

“As Government, we have seen many careers flourish from this platform, beyond that, we have observed alumni of this initiative such as Portia Zvavahera, recently have their work auctioned off at a Global level, for telling the Zimbabwean story.

‘Other alumni of the Pavilion include Gareth Nyandoro, Masimba Hwati, Virginia Chihota, Dana Whabira, Kresiah Mukwazhi, and Ronald Muchatuta, who are of acclaim on the Global Art scene. We aspire to continue this upward consumption and appreciation of Zimbabwean art,” she added

In line with National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1), this platform has been critical in the Image Building and persuasion of international cooperation and it offers new engagement in the Cultural sphere,” she added. Italian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Umberto Malnati said the re-engagement with Zimbabwe was aimed at promoting mutual relations and art plays a critical role in the whole exercise.

“Our Embassy has observed the Pavilion of Zimbabwe gaining momentum continuously since 2011 and we appreciate the strengthening cultural bridges which are built between two countries,” he said.

A sculptor, Troy Makaza, said he would give his best to represent Zimbabwe.

“This opportunity to exhibit at such a prestigious event is a chance to represent my country. It barely comes once and I am going to give out my best. I am not expecting a lot from it but that chance to represent my country is amazing, he said.

A female painter, Gillian Rosselli, made it clear that women had to be competitive enough in the industry to be able to showcase talent.

“I feel very honoured to represent women in Zimbabwe. I am a painter and I am happy to be part of this largest event in the world.

It’s like the Olympics of art and I would say to other women to your practice and whatever you are doing. To the talented young women, I day do your practice, said Rosselli.

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