The beginnings …
Though beautiful stone Zimbabwe Birds were found at Great Zimbabwe in the fifteenth century, contemporary Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture has its roots in the 1950’s when Frank McEwan, first Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, started an art workshop. Initially the focus was on painting, and McEwan was impressed by the exciting and uninhibited work produced by the indigenous artists. He encouraged them to try sculpting with stone. The results were astounding and drew international attention.
International acclaim …
Sculptors such as Takawira, Munyaradzi, Mukomberanwa, Mariga and Matemera* earned acclaim from art critics around the world through exhibitions in Africa, Europe and America. By the late 1980’s an article in Newsweek (14.9.1987) claimed Zimbabwe was “home to five of the top ten stone sculptors in the world” and that “Shona sculpture is perhaps the most important new art form to emerge from Africa this century”. Zimbabwean Stone Sculpture had become a phenomenon on the world art scene and captured the imagination of art lovers everywhere. To this day our sculptors continue to be invited to exhibit internationally and have scooped many prestigious awards.
The next generation
Stone Dynamics was founded in 1987 by Stuart Danks, a young Zimbabwean and son of Jean Danks, artist and former Curator of the Bulawayo National Gallery. The gallery represented already established artists and provided opportunities for new young talent, organising exhibitions worldwide. It has been described in several authoritative books, including “Stone Sculpture in Zimbabwe”, written by the Australian author and art critic, Celia Winter-Irving.
Stone Dynamics has had a permanent exhibition here at the Victoria Falls Hotel for twenty-eight years. Many guests have purchased sculptures as mementos, design pieces to enhance their homes, and for their art collections. The sculptures displayed are all original works, and customers are provided with a certificate of authentication and a biography of the artist.
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Early Piece - Matamera
Contemporary Piece - Njobo
Stone Sculpture in Zimbabwe