Life goes on for artist Maseko

BULAWAYO - Paintings and installations by controversial painter Owen Maseko still lie banned, undusted and unattended at the National Gallery in Bulawayo’s main exhibition space.

But with a Supreme Court judgment still hanging over his head, nothing seems to deter the versatile artist from demonstrating his natural creative aptitude coupled with passion.

It’s over two years now, but for him life goes on.

To bear out this, the Bulawayo-based painter will next week spark off yet another wing of gift during the oncoming Intwasa Arts Festival.

The much-anticipated annual festival runs from Tuesday September 18 to 22.

It is during this prestigious week-long event that award-winning Maseko will be unveiling his newly-established label called KoMaseko Art and Ceramics.

It is also under the new festival concept known as the Bloom Arts and Craft Fair that Maseko has made a date with pottery and ceramic art lovers.

This will take place at the City Hall Car Park stage for two days from September 21 to 22.

Maseko told the Daily News yesterday that the festival will give him the opportunity to raise awareness about pottery and ceramic sculptures.

“I chose to display my works at the festival so that I can raise awareness about pottery and ceramics sculptures. Usually people have seen these plates, cups and saucers and think that they are made from China yet they are locally made,” Maseko said.

“I will also conduct a two-day workshop where I will give people a touch of how to do pottery. I will be bringing my potter’s wheel where they can also get a chance to make their own products, paint and decorate,” he told the Daily News.

Maseko elaborated that the motive behind the workshop was to preserve the tradition at the same time promoting original and locally-made products.

“We need not look down upon our local products; we need, at all costs, to preserve our cultural heritage while also promoting locally-made products. All my products are named in vernacular for identity’s sake,” he said.

During the workshop, the artist said he will be assisted by his three colleagues who are equally adept at pottery and ceramics.

Maseko, who now runs his own art studio at his home in North End suburbs, has some of his pottery works being sold from the Zimbabwe National Gallery outlets, Victoria Falls, the United Kingdom and other parts of the country.

Asked whether he had abandoned painting due to the pending Supreme Court case against him, Maseko said: “I haven’t abandoned painting. I am a versatile visual artist. Pottery and ceramics fall under visual art.
“Art is a very broad term as a result in some countries I am known as an installation artist, while in some places they say I am a painter and to some I am a designer. If you came to my studio you will be surprised as I do a lot of things including animation,” he added.

This will be the first time that Maseko takes part in such a way at the festival as in the past he has been used to only participating in joint exhibitions at the Bulawayo gallery.

Again this time, Maseko will take part in the joint exhibition where he is set to showcase his new installation called Angiboni boni.

The installation title is derived from the traditional children’s play which brings to the fore what people may see and what they may not see.

The joint exhibition will take place at the National Gallery in Bulawayo during the festival.

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