The E-Qualities of Women-Press Release

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The E-Qualities of Women

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Harare, 23 July 2018- This year, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe will hold its yearly Women’s Exhibition this August under the theme

The E-Qualities of Women. The exhibition will be officially open on Thursday the 23rd of August with a private cocktail, and open to the Public on Friday the 24th of August 2018. In a year were the prevalent theme has been Press for Progress, the exhibition focuses its lens on the qualitative contributions which women have made in history. The exhibition is geared to offer women a platform for expression, with didactic elements that guide the audience through the developments women have contributed and the envelopments that they have overcome.

The range of the exhibition is highly inclusive of cultures and the audience will be offered an interlinear experience that traverses disciplines and professions in a descriptive vein. The exhibition has obtained new artworks from the likes of Dorcas Marikasi, Fungai Masango- Willard and Patricia Broderick, among others. The work featured herein will comment on perceptions and actuality of the dichotomous parity/ disparity complex in gender relations through various media.

As an act of solidarity with South Africa, who observe Women’s Month in August, utilizing the late Winnie Madikizela Mandela as an afflatus; the curatorial team consisting of Doreen Sibanda and Valerie Sithole articulated the observance of Heroes Day in Zimbabwe with the latter to eulogize the actions of women as heroism. Thus the exhibition sheds a positive light on women’s activities in many spheres by bestowing the creative force of artists to their most limitless degree.

The E-Qualities of Women ultimately stands to practice parity; in its shadow the commonplace reference of “Women Artists” or “Female Artists” shall stand to be abandoned as the new dispensation of the day shall refer to Artists as uniform practitioners of the creative field.  

A series of events will take place at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe on the fringes of this exhibition including Public Programmes such as an Artist Talk on Friday the 24th of August 2018 at 2:30PM; A Curatorial Walkabout centered on the exhibition will take place on Wednesday the 29th of August at 12 noon. Lastly, a session of the Harare Conversations on The E-Qualities of Women will take place on Thursday the 6th of September 2018 at 2:30PM. All Public Programmes are free and open to members of Public. An event entitled Ladies that Lunch which will bring together women from different disciplines and all walks of life to discuss pertinent matters in society. Ladies that Lunch will take place on Thursday the 30th of August 2018 from 12 noon, tickets for the event are available at nationalgallery.co.zw.

About the Co-curators

Doreen Sibanda

Doreen Sibanda has been active in the Visual Arts sector in Zimbabwe for over 30 years, starting 1981 as the Education Officer at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. In between she ran a private gallery and many Visual Art projects including Curator of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the Second Johannesburg Biennale. In 2004, Sibanda became the National Gallery of Zimbabwe's Executive Director. In 2011, 2013 and 2015, she was the Commissioner for the first Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale. Currently her pressing aim is to realize the establishment of the National Gallery's School of Visual Art and Design.
She has authored several publications including Zimbabwe Stone sculpture: A Retrospective 1957- 2007 and co-author of National Gallery of Zimbabwe: Celebrating 50 years, 1957- 2007.

Valerie Sithole

 Valerie Sithole was born in Bulawayo in 1989 and grew up in a small mining town called Hwange for most of her childhood. She did her high school in Bulawayo.  Sithole obtained a National Certificate at the Polytechnic College Institute of Art and Design, Bulawayo (2009). She furthered her studies in Fine Art at the Vaal University of Technology in South Africa where she majored in Printmaking (2010-2013) and holds a BTech in Fine Art. She practiced in studio at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo that she shared with Dumisani Ndlovu in 2014. She lives and works in Harare. Sithole was selected to administer the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 57th Edition of the Venice Biennale in Italy in 2017, she is currently the Assistant Curator at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare.

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