National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) has called for local designers to submit portfolios of their work for assessment ahead of the Zimbabwe In Design exhibition and expo to be held from 25 April to mid June.
The call extends to artists in product, architecture, textile, furniture, jewellery, fashion, costume, body art; ceramic, handmade, and digital designs who would like to participate in an exhibition and expo dedicated to celebrate local designs.
NGZ information and public relations officer Taremeredzwa Chirewa says, “The idea is to move the concept of design beyond mere craft items and begin to interrogate the design that already exists with a view to introduce greater dynamism and competition.” The show is organised as an attempt to understand where Zimbabwe currently stands in terms of local design.
Chirewa said, “We are encouraging designers to introspect regarding their cultural identity. We hope that designers will examine the country’s heritage in order to reflect, remix, revise, reconstruct and reuse elements of Zimbabwean/African culture in contemporary ways.”
“We expect a diverse range of designs to be produced in line with that. This is because artists will be using different social, historical and cultural lenses to introspect,” explained Chirewa. She added that contemporary designers will draw inspiration from traditional culture, extracting and adapting forms, embellishment and materials and subjecting them to their own imaginative and creative interrogation.
Over the years Zimbabwe has lagged behind in the area of viable design largely because there are few facilities dedicated to teaching and nurturing design skills. In response to this the National Gallery School of Visual Art and Design in Mbare recently introduced design to its curriculum as a way of cultivating the design skills and ultimately contributing to the growth of the design sector in the country.
Those interested in participating in the exhibition are required to send their portfolio or links to at least five images of their current work, Curriculum Vitae and artist statement to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submission is 6 February.