Visual artist caresses culture through stones
BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
SCULPTOR Given Sitandi says his art is motivated by a desire to preserve Zimbabwe’s heritage, exploring its history and significance for generations to come.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Sitandi said his sculptures recall aspects of the culture forgotten due to Westernization.
“Culture is the inspiration behind my sculptures because my work best describes and represents our culture and our heritage. I think art should be exhibited from small communities because that’s where a lot of people are. This generation is unhappy because it is no longer aware of our culture because it has adopted Western ways of doing things ”, he declared.
“My art seeks to remind young people of their roots, their culture, their morals and issues such as respect and the way of life of typical Africans.
“I have sculptures like Blood relatives, which clearly explain the importance of family. We have a lot of parents who are overseas, but because of technology we communicate with them through various social media platforms to show how important family is.
Currently working at the Manyame Leisure Art Center in Chitungwiza, Sitandi said he has always had a passion for art since he was a child.
“I started sculpting at a very young age, drawing inspiration from my uncles who were in this profession. My interest in crafts grew and I decided to go to school at the National Art Gallery from 1993 to 1995. We need something that continues to remind us of the culture even though we live in it. the modern world, ”he said.
“Zimbabweans should be proud of the stone carvings which are well known around the world. We can say that it is in fact a tourist attraction because many come to see and buy these sculptures. We are very popular, for example the bird of Zimbabwe which was made of stone. So sculpture is the basis of everything, even if some take it for granted. It is very important to embrace and try to understand the message behind this art.
Sitandi added that there is a need to advertise and exercise creativity in the competitive art world.
“There is a need to advertise and have more exhibitions for Zimbabweans to take sculpture seriously. I would like to encourage people to visit national art centers so that they can see what artists are doing, ”he said.
“I want to see personal growth and that of the industry as a whole in terms of creativity and innovation. There is so much competition in our industry. Others copy what some do without knowing the inspiration behind the idea. Originality is something some have yet to learn in terms of developing their own
“It is also my desire for the arts industry to become an income-generating career. Artists should also be treated with respect and reap the rewards of their labor like any other profession for which you receive a pension even after you retire.
- Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari
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