World Art Foundation
In 1995 World Art Foundation was founded.The aim of the Foundation is to promote art arising from different cultures and peoples.
The occasion was the observation that many modern European artists are inspired by Oceanic and African art forms.
The question now was why these original art forms got so little attention, while some of the inspired European artists became world famous, and more so, what contemporary form and expression do these art forms have nowadays.
After some research the contemporary modern art from Zimbabwe became one of the pillars of this project.
The art of sculpting in Zimbabwe is characterised by some typical features:
It is an authentic form of art that came into being without any influence from other artistic trends.The startingpoint was the culture of the Shonatribe in 1958. Sculpting in stone evolved out of the woodcarving tradition.
The design and the aura of the sculptures are linked to all aspects of life.
The Zimbabwean culture forms the basis, but one sees a lot of similarities general human culture. Sentiments, background and themes play an important part in the image and expression of the sculptures.That is why this form of art is very open to the public.
It is a unique intuitive way of sculpting. The artist does not draft anything before he starts.The stone, together with his own emotions, are his inspiration and determine the ultimate result. Spiritual experiences and ancient stories are often an inspiration for the artist.
The way man and animal relate to each other is an important subject for many artists in Zimbabwe. Their mutual interest and dependancy on nature plays an important role.
All forms of art like figurative, non-figurative and abstract do appear in the Zimbabwean sculpting, but most often it is a subconsciously chosen form for the artist. It is often only through contact with Europeans and Americans that the artist realises that the form of art actually has a name.
This way of sculpting has become a revealing and special form of art during the past forty years. From the plain surface to movement. From Shona culture to modern design. From soapstone to springstone.
The work is almost completely manual and the techniques are very refined. Through the manual labour they stay in touch with the rough material and the final sculpture which emerges from the stone.
Special attention is given to non materialistic matters. All feelings and thoughts are given an important place in life, especially the African way of dealing with spirits, rituals and family ties.