The National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) last week launched an exhibition to celebrate International Women’s Day. Women on Top saw 43 women entering work in different genres including sculpture, paintings, mixed media, photography and craft.
The exhibition encompassed both upcoming and renowned artists. Big names like Portia Zvavahera, Davina Jogi, Nancy Mteki, Georgina Maxim and Marjorie Wallace, some of whose work has been showcased around world, made the exhibition exceptional. Their work was hung alongside young artists who gave a fresh look at the art scene in the country.
The collaboration of the old and the young also stretched to curatorship with NGZ director Doreen Sibanda working with Thandazani Dhlakama who was curating only her second show.
One notable piece was a painting titled Mistakes in the Right by Zvavahera, people streamed to see it. From the young artists, it was Lorraine Muunya’s photography that really captured the audience’s attention. This was largely because many people could associate with her subjects, children in the high density suburbs with ambitions to make it in life.
It was only befitting that one of the most powerful and highly influential women, Opah Muchinguri opened the show. Muchinguri, the Minister of Women Affairs Gender and Community Development applauded efforts by female artists to challenge the perception of male dominance. She said, “I would like to thank all women who have participated in this exhibition for their talent, dedication and determination to put women at the top of the visual arts sector in Zimbabwe.”
Muchinguri encouraged organisers of the exhibition to involve girls in future exhibitions. “The development of Girl Child artists is paramount as it guarantees continuous development of art in Zimbabwe,” she said.
Meanwhile, the European Union who sponsored the event spoke on women’s excellence. Ambassador Aldo Dell’Ariccia said “By sponsoring this exhibition, the European Union seeks to promote their artistic expression as a way to enrich the national cultural production.”
The exhibition runs until the end of month.
Caption: Opah Muchinguri (right) shares a laugh with Doreen Sibanda.