Artist fails to raise money for exhibition

HARARE - Gweru-based sculptor Forbes Mushipe could fail to exhibit his works at the National Art Galleries in Bulawayo due to lack of funds.

Mushipe, who is scheduled to exhibit alongside Bulawayo-based award-winning artist Israel Israel in August, told the Daily News yesterday that he is battling to raise the $5 000 required for making the event possible.

“Exhibiting in Bulawayo would really be an opportunity for the world to view my award-winning works,” said Mushipe.

“But sadly, I am failing to get the necessary funds to cater for logistics and accommodation since I am going to spend the whole month in Bulawayo before moving to Harare for another exhibition at the National Art Gallery,” he said.

The artist added that his failure to raise funds for the exhibition was a clear sign of the bad state of affairs in the sculpture industry. 

“Award-winning artists are leading miserable lives.

Contemporary artists cannot inspire upcoming artists because of the poverty we are stuck in.

“The poor state of the economy has made the situation worse.”

Mushipe won his first Nama in 2010 when his piece called Barika was voted the best in a tightly-contested mixed media category that also featured Victor Nyakauru’s Gava Rakadambura Musungo and Dominic Benhura’s Nzou Samanyanga.

The Gweru-based visual artist’s piece called Melodies From the Mermaid Ahead landed him his second consecutive Nama award the following year.

Zimbabwe-born-Mushipe, who grew up in neighbouring Zambia, has participated in several exhibitions locally and in neighbouring South Africa.

Some of his noteworthy exhibitions were showcased at Zimbabwe Heritage in 2002 and Harare Biennial in 2004.

Several of his hand-made artworks are scattered across the world as permanent collections in private galleries.

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