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The Beauty and the Drama:
Chituwa Jemali

Howe Street Gallery of Fine Art
Vancouver BC • Thru June

Chituwa Jemali, Possessed by Spirit, (2000), Zimbabwe black serpentine [Howe Street Gallery of Fine Art, Vancouver BC, thru June]
Forty black serpentine sculptures, the largest weighing 2000 pounds, by Zimbabwean “Shona” sculptor Chituwa Jemali will be displayed at the Howe Street Gallery through the month of June.

“Shona sculpture” is the name given to a distinct style of stone sculpture from the central African country of Zimbabwe. Self-taught indigenous artists have carved these intense contemporary forms for over one thousand years but their work has become known outside Africa only since the 1950s, when it caught the attention of European art critics. It has inspired numerous contemporary artists, including, according to recent evidence, Picasso.

Steeped in tradition, Shona Creationism originates from the stone itself, allowing the intricacies of the stone’s structure to guide the chisel. Many Shona artists believe that their spiritual ancestors pre-determine the way each stone is broken and the shapes of the figures that will emerge.

Master sculptor Chituwa Jemali has had recent exhibitions in Belgium and Holland. His work dwells mainly on the facial expressions of his subjects and often narrate significant moments of daily life, elevating them to mythical status.

Besides unveiling his most recent works he will speak about the history and mythology of Shona Creationism to interested viewers and collectors. For information, call 604-681-5777.

© Mia Johnson


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