From the moment you lay your eyes on them, it is as if a different world opens. A rich world forever narrated in stone that is. For one it is reminiscent of the famous Picasso’s iconic abstract portraiture paintings, whose work was undoubtedly somewhat African inspired. Chapungu sculptures are a minimalist’s blissful dreams.
Sitting in the mineral and archaeological rich-land of Zimbabwe the magnificent Chapungu gallery and sculpture park fits like a puzzle piece.This explosion of cultural expression had early influence from Joram Mariga and his Nyanga Group in 1957. Most of the art pieces became more well known with the National Gallery.This came from the new National Gallery under its first Director, Frank McEwan in 1957/1958. They show an impressive depiction of African visages, a very beautiful portrayal. The crafts also give an in-depth portrayal of mostly African women in a sensitive and bold light. Some of the sculptures were those of animals also portrayed with in-depth African symbolism. These phenomenal works are well known for representing African art against the rest of the world’s finest.
The types of stones used in making these remarkable sculptures are limestone, springstone and opal stone to name a few. What makes these stand out from sculptures from around the world is in how the artists display rich diverse story-telling while still minimalistic. Diverse sculpture making that can only be described as being unique to traditional African sculptures. Stones used came from Zimbabwe. Every figure is made with the original structure or form of each stone when it was found in mind. With this technique, it is almost as though the artist deciphers the message of the rock. The artists are influenced and inspired by their respective cultures in Zimbabwe.
The gallery is open to the public, attracting visitors and art lovers from all over the world. In fact, they have been displayed in exhibitions around the world. Certain famous museums have had the honours to house such great works of art. Lucky art lovers from the rich to art curators have bought many of these artworks which can be bought on their website.
A lot of artworks from all over the world stand out however these are by far the best sculptures…if not one of. Do you agree that these are the best? Have you seen other impressive works elsewhere in Africa?… tell us what you think.