Renowned African Stone Artists Agnes and Moses Nyanhongo .pdf
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Renowned African Stone Artists Agnes and Moses
Nyanhongo will Display their Talents at Sculpting
Event at Devendorf Park in Carmel Aug. 27
Brother-and-sister artists Agnes and Moses Nyanhongo are renowned fine art stone sculptors of
Zimbabawe's Shona Sculpture Movement, which has captivated art lovers and collectors the
Carmel, CA, June 30, 2017 — Brother-and-sister artists Agnes and Moses Nyanhongo are renowned
fine art stone sculptors of Zimbabawe's Shona Sculpture Movement, which has captivated art lovers and
collectors the world over.
To celebrate the opening of “Life in Stone,” an exhibition of over 40 new stone sculptures at Gallery Sur
in Carmel, the internationally celebrated duo will demonstrate their stone sculpting talents at a free
event in Devendorf Park in downtown Carmel.
From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, Agnes and Moses, part of the well-known Nyanhongo family of
stone sculptors, will show the various techniques used in their distinctive sculpting process and will
share the deep cultural and spiritual traditions expressed in the stone.
Gallery Sur in Carmel is a North American leader in offering original, one-of-a-kind Zimbabwean stone
sculpture. The new “Life in Stone” exhibition, opening August 27 at Gallery Sur, includes Shona
sculpture ranging from important traditional works by older, revered artists to contemporary, purely
abstract works from younger, internationally acclaimed Zimbabwean artists.
“For the past 23 years, I’ve had the pleasure of representing a handful of world-class stone sculptors
from Zimbabwe,” says Braden Coolidge, artist representative and curator of the show. “Each year I
hand-pick a selection that focuses on the very finest quality by a select few artists. This year’s collection
is truly stunning. Clearly the most diverse and dynamic body of work I have ever seen, and in 23 years
I’ve seen a lot!”
Shona artists often draw inspiration intuitively from their traditional culture: the mythology, folklore,
rituals and beliefs in ancestral spirits that remain strong influences in contemporary Zimbabwean life.
The integral roles of women in society are also a significant source of inspiration, often expressing the
importance of the mother and child relationship and the respect for the elder’s wisdom. Both the
physical and spiritual relationship with nature is another important theme, reflecting the country’s deep
Utilizing beautiful stones in various colors, unearthed by the artists from remote mines and quarries,
their distinctive sculptures are hand-carved using timeworn techniques, without power tools,
maintaining a close relationship to the stone.
The Shona Sculpture Movement, which first began in the 1950s, is named after the largest tribe engaged
in stone sculpting in Zimbabwe. The name Zimbabwe is derived from the Shona word meaning “house
of stone.” In the late 1960s, the new art movement born in Africa was celebrated at the famed Musee
Rodin in Paris and Shona sculptors caught the attention of the art world.
Bernard Matemera, one of the founders of the Shona movement described the process of working with
stone like this:
“The spirits are everywhere in the air, in the rocks. A rock is like a fruit — like an orange or a banana.
You don’t eat them without peeling them first. It needs to be opened to be eaten. I open the rocks. The
fruit is inside.”
Sixth between Dolores and Lincoln
Gallery Sur also supports the all-volunteer Sahwira Fund, to build classrooms at the Maulana School for
Orphans in Epworth, Zimbabwe. Supported by 10% of the proceeds of all sculpture sales, eight
classrooms have been built and are now sheltering many of the 800-plus students at the school. 6 more
classrooms are planned to meet the demand.
Marci Bracco Cain
Salinas, CA 93901