Stephen Garan’anga Visual Art
On inception a few years ago, Village Unhu was just an artists’ space founded by young practitioners enjoying their practice in an appropriate environment, but now it has matured into a fully registered business entity under the Companies Act with all the relevant structures.

It is now known as “Village Unhu Private Limited” and the creative young art space is striving to offer innovative tools to address and find new ways to develop art in the country.

Situated at 10 Silwood Close, Chisipite in Harare, Village Unhu has set up a studio structure and extended an open invitation to artists to come and work either as individuals or in a group.

Their vision is to offer an informal platform where artists develop their creative exploration organically, at the same time bringing artists from different backgrounds together.

The other aim is to contribute to the cultural and artistic development of the local art scene as well as bring people and artists close by creating possibilities for communication and exchanges between the everyday happening and artistic interpretation or expression.

The vision also involves creating a residency programme that involves artists from different countries; conduct exhibitions; create workshops for artists and by artists for personal development including crits and discussions and to be a resource centre for young art students and young artists.

The Village’s house is vast in land and has enormous rooms with five fully furnished bedrooms set aside for the artist-in-residence programmes and exchanges and four other major rooms serving as the exhibition space.

On sustainability, Village Unhu has devised that users of the space contribute towards rentals of studios and for upcoming artists working based at the space will contributes when sales have been realised like any other gallery contract systems.

The Village is open to other artists willing to turn the space into an exhibition and or workshop for a nominal fee and or donation.

They will also be providing evening art classes for drawing and graphics, painting, multi media sculpture, video and installation, critical thinking and writing.

Internationally Art Fairs are annual events which allow galleries and artists’ collectives to show case their works. The Village will provide a platform for the many artists that have not been able to show their works beyond our borders. They intend to at least fund raise and or seek funding to annually attend at least one art fair internationally or regionally.

To date Village Unhu has performed remarkably conducting various art projects either self-funding or being assisted by such organisations as the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust with its European Union partnerships, the British Council, the Alliance Francaise, Chinhoyi University of Technology, The African Arts Trust and ProHelvetia, South Africa to mention a few.

Some of the projects include their participation in the 2014 and 2015 editions of the Johannesburg Art Fair in South Africa, collaborations with Gwanza Art in photography exhibitions and exhibitions at the Alliance Francaise to highlight some.

Currently they are showing “Orgees” an immaculate mixed media exhibition of work produced by upcoming artists who have been working at their studios who include Mostaff Muchawaya, Epheas Maposa, Zangira and Tawanda Takura among others as well as an outsider and veteran artist Percy Manyonga.

The successful show has shown impressive depth in controlled experimentation using new media and it comes shortly after a photography show by Gwanza Art, which had an international flair.

It is not a secret that a lot of artists in Zimbabwe are under-represented and there is a need for more art spaces, which will offer practitioners platforms for their development and the creative sector of the country as a whole.

The Village Unhu art initiative is highly commendable and needs support from various stake holders to significantly compliment the long existing institutions serving the ever growing artists’ population. The high energies of the young Village Unhu director artists and their intent for the future promise a lot of light at the end of the tunnel, only time will tell.

You Might Also Like