A TRUE calling for visual art, which involves the application and expression of human skills through imagination, is simply irresistible.
When you fall in love with this art form, which is dominated by painters and sculptors, it’s hard to quit and harder to resist.
Although it’s not well appreciated on home turf by many, foreigners are feasting on our local creatives’ catchy collections.
Tourists see value in these art collections compared to us Zimbabweans.
Somehow, we are taking too long to appreciate our own.
We only give them attention when they hit international headlines where their artworks are auctioned for big money.
Three years ago, there were genuine fears the art world would collapse at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic since tourists, who like such collections, were restricted from flying.
Despite the lockdown, visual artists continued to demonstrate their imaginative power.
Several professionals like medical doctors, bankers and lawyers who love visual art, shone during the same period.
Prominent Harare lawyer, academic and sculptor, David Ngwerume, instantly comes to mind.
He proved his versatility by producing theme-based sculptures at his gallery in Greendale during the lockdown period.
Ngwerume addressed gender-based violence, and children’s rights, through his creations during the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
He is still in love with the club hammer, cold chisel and the stone – sculpting.
Only last week, a Harare-based medical doctor, Kevin Ndlovu, was in the news as a prolific painter.
In June, he was invited to the State House by President Mnangagwa after one of his portraits captured his attention.
Besides his busy schedule with patients, he still finds time for art.
He is famed for producing portraits of world-renowned leaders, focusing on photo-realistic monochrome artwork in charcoal.
Dr Ndlovu’s commitment to visual art is a clear indication that God’s calling is irresistible.
His obsession with visual art is a clear sign that we have versatile professionals who are interpreting issues through their imaginative artworks.
By sharing his artwork with the public, Dr Ndlovu has demonstrated his willingness to join the new movement of creatives yearning for recognition.
He has also demonstrated that artworks can be collected by locals if properly marketed.
In this era of digitalisation, he has been using his social media handles to get the attention of consumers.
He will certainly give confidence to other creatives who are holding onto their collections.
It’s also encouraging when high-profile Zimbabwean figures appreciate local visual artists’ creations.
Dr. Ndlovu’s feat comes at a time when attention is on six visual artists – Gillian Rosselli, Sekai Machache, Troy Makaza, Victor Nyakauru, Moffat Takadiwa, and Kombo Chapfika – who are representing Zimbabwe at the 60th International Art Exhibition at Venice Biennial 2024.
It will be a festival about diversity and storytelling.
This is refreshing news for the creative sector to be appreciated both locally and abroad.