at the 57th Venice Biennale
Raphael Chikukwa Born in Zimbabwe and worked mainly as an independent curator for more than ten years before joining the National Gallery of Zimbabwe mid 2010 as its Chief Curator. He is the founding curator of the 1st Zimbabwe Pavilion in 2011 and also curated the Zimbabwe Pavilion 2013 and 2015 at the Venice Biennale. After taking Zimbabwe to Venice in 2011, Chikukwa has taken part in a number of Forums that include, Art Basel Salon 2015, Cape Town Art Fair 2016, Re Zimbabwe
The selection of artists for the Zimbabwean Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale once again reinforces our desire to extend the opportunity to a number of Zimbabwean artists rather that showcase a single one. In a country that only recently decided to take its place at the global event, we feel that such a presentation not only offered the audience a better insight into what is happening in the country’s creative sector but also in a country where international opportunities are not so
The Zimbabwe Pavilion would like to thank the Ministry of Rural Development, Promotion and Preservation of National Culture and Heritage, The National Gallery of Zimbabwe Board of Trustees, The Zimbabwean Embassy in Rome (Ambassador Godfrey Magwenzi), The Zimbabwe Pavilion Advisory committee, the participating artists, Paul Bradley and Ambassador Enrico de Agostini for all the support they have given the National Gallery of Zimbabwe
Admire was born 27th December 1981 in Harare, Zimbabwe. In the year 2000 he completed his ‘A’ Level Education at Hatfield High School. From 2001- 2003 he attended Helen Lieros Fine Art lessons at Gallery Delta.[...]Known for his lively, raw and often dark allegorical depictions of life in Zimbabwe, Kamudzengerere was one of 15 successful artists selected from over 2000 applicants worldwide, and the second Zimbabwean artist ever, to be awarded a residency at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, 2012 – 2014. He trained at Gallery Delta and at the National Gallery School in Harare. His male portraits, intense but at the same time indefinable, speak not only to personal struggle, self-definition and father-son relationships but more broadly to the theme of contemporary masculinity. Kamudzengerere is currently based in Harare, where he teaches and is busy creating a new farm-based artist collective. [...]
Bhebe is a Bulawayo based artist, whose paintings focus mainly on figurative images and their relation to the social scope. His works has been featured in galleries across Zimbabwe, National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe, Private Galleries in Bulawayo and Harare, Private collection Livingstone House, Bard House Harare and exhibitions in Germany at the Teloy-Mühle, Meerbusch and Düsseldorf joint exhibitions. Bhebe participated on numerous group exhibitions in Meerbusch with the KunstAusMeerbusch artists initiate. He embarked on Large scale Mural projects in Germany representing Zimbabwe under the Global Mural project with Farbfieber Artists association in Düsseldorf where 10 large scale Murals were realized in collaboration with artists from Latin America and Europe. In 2002 Bhebe represented Zimbabwe on an international Buddy Bear project where each country painted its national fiberglass bear which was going to parade on major cities worldwide, the exhibition went on a world tour through major cities until 2008.He is currently working on an Art in Public spaces initiate with local artist to bring art into public hospitals in partnership with the local health institutions.
Born in 1942, Mubayi is one of the last surviving links to the early days of modern Zimbabwean sculpture. He began sculpting in the 1960s at the Tengenenge sculpture community in northern Zimbabwe. Later, he was invited to be a resident artist at the National Gallery by its influential first director, Frank McEwen. He was a founder member of the new sculpture community established by McEwen in Vukutu (eastern Zimbabwe), where he did some of his finest work. He now lives and works in Chitungwiza. His work is inspired by a world of spirit and supernatural forces often fusing people and the animal world. Skeletons inspired his early work. He has exhibited extensively since 1968 in many parts of the world and has work in major collections in Europe and North America.Sylvester Mubayi creates sculptures of great beauty, often with a traditional meaning to them such as the bird as a messenger between "the other side" and people. His life size Cheetahs seems so friendly that one of them is today protecting a young child in her bedroom in Helsinki, Finland. Sylvester Mubayi is a mentor with Friends Forever artists, and deliberately so, he prioritise giving support and inspiration to the most talented younger artists in his field, the stone sculpture of Zimbabwe.
Whabira was born in London and grew up in Zimbabwe. Her parentage and cultural heritage echoes from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Russia, and Argentina, making her an artist that hosts a unique set of cultural influences. She is a trained architect and studied art and design at Central Saint Martin’s College in London. Whabira’s work is a snapshot of all media, including experimental assemblages, installation, spatial intervention, sculptural painting, and photography, which incorporate performance as process. Her work often takes a story or event as a point of departure, drawing on current affairs, literature, philosophy, and theatre for inspiration, and employs language as a metaphorical device. She participated in a group show entitled Idea of Self at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. She runs Njelele Art Station which promises to make a lasting contribution to Contemporary arts culture in Zimbabwe and the region.