Mushipe, Israel hold joint exhibition

BULAWAYO - Two award-winning Zimbabwean visual artistes Forbes Mushipe and Israel Israel have launched a collaborative exhibition at the National Gallery in Bulawayo.

Gweru-based Mushipe and Bulawayo’s Israel are contributing 25 pieces each to the month-long joint exhibition titled “Crossing the Bridge”.

The exhibition, which was officially unveiled last Thursday by AmaBooks Publishers co-director Brian Jones, has attracted significant interest because of Israel and Mushipe’s domination of the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) in recent years.

Mushipe has won the last three consecutive Nama gongs in the Mixed Media Category with Israel winning the last two Nama awards in the Three-Dimensional Category.

Mushipe’s Nama blaze of glory began in 2010 when his piece called Barika was adjudged to be 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.

Multi-talented Israel, who is also a musician, first attracted the recognition of Nama with a piece that depicts poverty in Africa titled Unto us a Child was Born.

The celebrated Bulawayo artist who specialises in metal sculpture regained the Three-Dimensional Nama award last year with a piece called Indigenisation which seeks to encourage

Zimbabweans to focus on creating new wealth and not rely on grabbing other people’s established companies.

Israel told the Daily News that they were delighted to have managed to put together the Bulawayo exhibition despite funding challenges.

“Our plans are to take our exhibition to Harare after the current one but the unfortunate part is that we do not have enough funding,” said Israel.

“As Nama winners, the two of us just thought of coming together to encourage other artists to work together”.

Israel added that the title of the exhibition was meant to celebrate two collaborating artists from two different cities.

The guest of honour Brian Jones praised the two exhibitors for continually producing quality works despite serious challenges.

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