Meeting of Minds:

An exhibition featuring Zimbabwean artists related to the Netherlands

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This exhibition comes at a time when Zimbabwe continues to re-engage with the rest of the world and celebrates intercultural exchanges that have strengthened the people to people relations. Artists on this show come from different generations and their practice has a link to Netherlands. The common understanding that

brings them together is their artistic practice and their role and function in contemporary art discourse. For generations in the African continent, art has always been there as a medium of communication that brings people together.  The artworks are different and make use of different mediums that include stone sculpture, paintings, photography and mixed media. These works bring strong emotions, personal stories and links with Netherlands.
Meeting of Minds exhibition carries current memories and memories of the past. The inclusion of Tengenenge art centre artists is not an afterthought. Tengenenge which is still home to most rural artists was instrumental in giving a voice and space to grow some of the first generation sculptors who went on to achieve greatness across the world for Zimbabwe. Founded by a Dutch farmer Tom Blomfield, it is only fit to have included works by Josia Manzi, Kilala Malola, Amai Manzi, Sylvester Mubayi and Paulo Meza.These artists provide joy, inspiration, interaction, and also provoke dialogue among communities. Folktales in the rural settings of Guruve can be seen in these Tengenenge artists’ works and their connection to nature.

This exhibition also brings in a younger generation of artists whose careers have primarily been shaped by Netherlands and Zimbabwe. Their connection to the two different spaces can be seen through their work and testimonies; having studied in Zimbabwe and later in the Netherlands, this has inspired the creative spirit of these artists. The Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Netherlands and Thami Mnyele Foundation are two Netherlands art institutions that are known to be home for many emerging African artists. Those who went through the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Netherlands are Patrick Makumbe, Admire Kamudzengerere and Gareth Nyandoro. Those that went through the Thami Mnyele Foundation are Option Nyahunzvi and Terrence Musekiwa. Their experiences have changed their lives and according to these artists the residencies provided them with opportunities to further their artistic careers in a diverse environment that allowed them to grow their careers in so many ways.

Nyahunzvi and Musekiwa’s work has grown since they graduated from the National Gallery School of Visual Arts and Design. The huge installation by Musekiwa speaks volumes and the two huge paintings by Option shows how he is pushing to yet another level. For years’ artists continue to give more of their creative essence in different ways and this has allowed institutions like the National Gallery of Zimbabwe to be what it is.

CURATED BY RAPHAEL CHIKUKWA

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