AS part of its 60th Anniversary celebrations, the National Arts Gallery has donated five sculptures to five different institutions as a way of getting Zimbabweans to appreciate the country’s arts while at the same time recognising the contributions made by different personalities in their respective fields of expertise.
Speaking to New Zimbabwe on the side lines of the unveiling of a sculpture donated to the Mbuya Nehanda Maternity hospital, a piece by Richard Mupumha named “Mother Care”, National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe Chief Curator, Raphael Chikukwa said the donations were a way of ploughing back to the community as well as spreading national arts to the grassroots.
“As a way of celebrating our 60 years of existence, we decided to share the art pieces that we have and also appreciate the prominent personalities of Zimbabwe. We also realised that most Zimbabweans do not appreciate art and that by taking the pieces to public places it will grow their appreciation,” he said.
Chikukwa said they had donated a Jairos Jiri portrait to the Jairos Jiri Home, portraits of Dorothy Masuka and Stella Chiweshe to the Zimbabwe College of Music, a portrait of Elliot Mujaji to Danhiko and the Mother Care piece to Mbuya Nehanda Maternity hospital.
“We sometimes do this and give out these pieces as permanent loans to various institutions. It is important that today we have decided to celebrate with a health care institution that I admire and know is admired by many others because of what it represents and the naming of it; that is a link to the heritage we have through our nationalists,” he said.
He said the piece “Mother Care” was significant because it depicted the important role that mothers played in growing the nation and caring.
“It is part of the gallery’s permanent collection and we are now handing it over to Mbuya Nehanda because mother’s care is very important and we saw it fit for it to be here,” he said.
Mupumha said he was inspired by the love he received from his late mother, who died last month at the age of 116, just four months after he did the piece.
“I am the last born in a family of nine and I cannot explain the love that she showed me. That was my inspiration to do the piece. After I did the piece I thought I could not just sell it, so I decided tom give it to our mother body, the national gallery,” he said.Advertisement
He said his mother had also contributed to him becoming a sculptor as she used to make clay pots and he would steal her clay to make his own products.
Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals Acting Principal Nursing Officer, Mary Phiri said the sculpture would serve as a reminder to all mothers who gave birth at the hospital that they needed to continue to care for their babies.
“It is a very significant piece of work which shows the importance of a mother and it being here is a sign of appreciation of the work that is being done at Mbuya Nehanda,” she said.