Reginald Chirenje Youth Interactive Writer
Art is a natural activity to support free play in children.
The freedom to manipulate different materials in an organic and unstructured way allows for exploration and experimentation.
These artistic endeavours and self directed explorations are not only fun but educational as well.
Drawing, painting and sculpting allows youths to practice a wide range of skills that are useful not only for life but also for learning.
Youth Interactive caught up with 23 year old Tafadzwa Nigel Tom, a young talented visual artist who majors in painting and drawing who shared his success story.
He is also a stone and metal sculptor designer.
“My artworks are a reflection of my beliefs from an imaginary world which I depict through head and leg attached figures as a metaphor to depict laziness,” he said.
Some people are unsuccessful due to their own volition, some are thinkers but they do nothing using their hands which reviews an aspect of inactive (laziness). My work also involves texts which represent the voice of the people and their entire painful social scenes”.
Tafadzwa uses graphite, pencils, pen and ink to tell his story.
The talented artist said he knew he had the passion and talent in the art world at a tender age and has won his first prize in Harare Provisional Level art tourney in 2011.
He attended the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Designs in 2017 then the following year, at Dzimbanhete Art Interaction paint making workshop under supervision of Chikonzero Chazunguza.
Tafadzwa has been exhibiting at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe for many years.
“I describe my artworks as a loud voice that strives to be heard all over the world by enticing the viewers to watch how other people see others. Drawing and paintings help people to learn about history. Art mirrors and comments on the time it was created,” he said.
He said some of his paintings depict specific events and tell a story about people he has met in his life.
“I have been studying history through an artist’s perspective which is different from reading about it in a textbook.”
Tafadzwa said drawing and painting have many positive effects which include cultural appreciation.
“To me it boosts creativity, helps me improve focus as an artist and self esteem,” he said.”
He added that studying paintings was a good way to develop cultural appreciation, especially for young people who may not have much exposure to other cultures beyond their own.
“True cultural appreciation goes beyond looking at a painting. It’s also important to dig into the context of an art style, who the artist was and what they were trying to communicate” he said.
“Art influences society by changing opinion, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Research has shown that art affects the fundamental sense of self. Painting, drawing and sculpting are often considered to be repositories of a society’s collective memory.”