Thursday, 24 February 2011

Nicholas Mukomberanwa's 'Caring for the child'

Nicholas Mukomberanwa is an internationally acclaimed Zimbabwean sculptor who was introduced to the international arts stage in the 1970's when he emerged from the basement of the Art Gallery of Zimbabwe, his earliest workshop, to exhibit in London, Paris and New York. His work can be seen in museums all around the world today including The Museum of Modern Art and The Museum of Man in London, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. 

Like many Zimbabwean artists Mukomberanwa had a keen interest in the arts from a young age yet his interest and skill was left un-nurtured and he was propelled into a 'stable' career as a policeman. A chance meeting with the then director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Frank McEwen later in life, inspired him to return to his first love and he went to work building a career as a very successful sculptor. Many more like him even today in Zimbabwe struggle to earn from their art and are left discouraged and often working in full time employment in other disciplines where they have failed to make a living from their art or where it is not socially acceptable for them to be full time artists. Many never realise their dreams so Mukomberanwa's success stands as a beacon of hope for many young artists trying to breakthrough. Mukomberanwa died in 2002.

'Caring for the child' is a sculpture by Nicholas Mukomberanwa which was donated as a prize for the winning girls soccer (football) team at the Goromonzi District Girls Soccer (football) Tournament held on 28th November 2009. The winning team at that tournament was Saint Domonic's Gilrs School [Chishawasha] where I saw the sculpture and had the opportunity to capture it resulting in this selection of images.

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