Showcase is presenting its third major exhibition of Shona stone sculptures from Zimbabwe in the presence of Dominic Benhura, widely considered to be the most important Shona sculptor, having participated in 30 solo exhibitions in Africa, Europe, USA and Australia. Benhura has an exceptional ability to portray human feeling through form rather than facial expression. In this his latest body of work he incorporates inlaid stone in his trademark designs.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, he sketches profusely and keeps a sketchbook close at hand recording ideas as they come to him. Once he has selected the rock he needs for a certain sketch he destroys the sketch so that it no longer influences him. “It is now between me and the stone,” he says – a phrase that has given birth to the name of the exhibition.
The subject matter for Shona sculptors has often been family and the pieces are usually carved to express both personal and spiritual beliefs. The younger-generation sculptors have a simplicity to their work and they speak of fundamental human experiences such as grief, elation, humour, anxiety and spiritual search, always communicated in a profoundly simple and direct way that is rare and extremely refreshing.
Other participating sculptors this year are Lovemore Bonjisi, Gregory Mutasa, Bywell Sango, Leonard Sezhendo and David White.
The exhibition and gallery are open daily from 10am to 7pm except Fridays. Further details can be found at showcaseuae.com