Several years ago, visual artist Tendai Mupita began exploring the fractals.
This is a mathematical concept in which similar patterns recur at progressively smaller scales, and also used in describing partly random or chaotic phenomena such as crystal growth, snowflakes and galaxy formation.
Amusingly fractals are a unique feature in many African cultures, utilised in different aspects including village planning and basket weaving.
The seductive endless complexity of fractals resonated well with Mupita’s view of life and relationships. His exploration resulted in a magical and enticing body of works on paper in his solo exhibition — ‘Fractality’, which opened at First Floor Gallery Harare (FFG) on 12 January.
The amazing showcase marked a flying start to 2017, not only for Mutipa, who is now at the prestigious Bag Factory Studios in Johannesburg for a residency programme, but also for the gallery.
After the exhibition, FFG represented four artists, namely; Troy Makaza, Wycliffe Mundopa, Richard Butler Bowdon and Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, exhibited at the London Art Fair, as part of an invitation project called ‘Dialogues’, curated by Miguel Amado.
The project is designed to demonstrate parallels between galleries working in different parts of the world.
A successful show in London was followed by the opening of ‘Face the Magic’ exhibition in Los Angeles.
This featured works from FFG’s artists: Wycliffe Mundopa, Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude and Troy Makaza. The exhibition was curated by FFG director, Valerie Kabov.
This month the gallery will take part in the 5th ‘Cape Town Art Fair’. For FFG, their highlight is the selection of their artist, Helen Teede, in the ‘Tomorrow’s Today’ prize section — a segment that focuses on best new talent around the continent.
“We have been, from the outset, committed to developing visibility of Zimbabwean artists internationally. In 2017 this strategy continues and is reaching new horizons,” says FFG Marketing and Public Relations director, Marcus Gora.
“In addition to the first outing for our artists in Los Angeles, we are also excited to announce that we are going to be presenting our key artists in Australia — in the first ever major exhibition of African contemporary art on that continent.
This is definitely an exciting moment for us. We are also developing a range of innovative projects that we will share later in the year, so watch this space.”