Interview: Lovemore Kambudzi

Interview: Lovemore KambudziImage courtesy of Lovemore Kambudzi

Interview: Lovemore Kambudzi

Luca Curci talks with Lovemore Kambudzi Winner of GLOBAL VILLAGE AWARD of IT’S LIQUID INTERNATIONAL CONTEST 4TH EDITION 2017.

Lovemore Kambudzi was born in Seke, Chitungwiza, just outside Harare in Zimbabwe, 1978. He grew up in Mbare, innercity of Harare where he excelled at arts at school. Lovemore attended the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) Visual Arts Studios (sponsored by the British – American Tobacco) in Mbare (1996 – 98) where twelve students a year were selected and studied art O-level and then A-level and then he was one of just two students selected to continue for a final year studying a course similar to a degree foundation course. While still a student in Mbare, Lovemore’s work was included in the Biennale Exhibition at NGZ and he was given an Award of Distinction as a young artist of promise. He was also “discovered” by Harare’s Gallery Delta, who have represented him from 1998. Lovemore developed a style of painting while breaking form realism, daubs of paint coalesce into large vibrant scenes bringing contemporary Zimbabwe to life. Oil on canvas is his most preferred medium. Lovemore has a reputation as a chronicler of the people – his solo exhibition in 2007 was entitled “The Eye of The People” an epithet that has stuck with him ever since. As a social critic through his art, Lovemore cannot help but enter a political commentary as the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe impacts on every sphere of life.

 

 

Interview: Lovemore KambudziImage courtesy of Lovemore Kambudzi

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Luca Curci – What do you think about the concept of this contest? What drove you to participate?
Lovemore Kambudzi – I think that the concept of this contest is eye opening as it gives artists from around the globe an equal opportunity to share their story with the rest of the world . This wonderful life changing opportunity of having my work in the Global Village travelling exhibition at an international level is what drove me to participate in this contest.

L.C. – What message is linked to your artworks?
L.K. – My paintings in different ways are a reflection of unresolved social and economic issues which have been trigered by a trail of human misery and degradation amoung other things that we are exposed to in Africa.

 

Interview: Lovemore KambudziImage courtesy of Lovemore Kambudzi

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L.C. – What is your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
L.K. –
I grew up in Mbare, Harare where l excelled at Arts at school. l attended the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) Visual Arts Studios (sponsored by British-American Tobacco) in Mbare 1996 – 1998 where twelve students a year were selected and studied O-Levelthen A-Level. I was one of just two students selected to continue for a final year studying a course similar to a degree foundation course. While still a student my work was included in the Biennale Exhibition at National Galllery of Zimabwe and l was given an award of distinction as a young artist of promise. That is my background over and above. After l left school in 1998, the situation in Zimbabwe suddenly became very tense and unstable – the farm invasions and the political atmosphere heralded a swift decline in the economy and the living standards of Zimbabweans in general. The regime became increasingly repressive and free speech was stifled.l found this environment very inspirational for me as an artist, and felt compelled to document these events through my work.

 

Interview: Lovemore KambudziImage courtesy of Lovemore Kambudzi

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L.C. – How is being an artist nowadays?
L.K. – Being an artist nowadays is hard. l have been accused of being political, but l paint what l see and the situation in Zimbabwe is all-pervasive, the poverty, the violence, the decline in service delivery fueled by corruption and the difficulties of day-today life. As a result, l have failed to show some of my work in Zimbabwe, others Galleries do not want to risk their permits withdrawn for showing my paintings. l am forced to paint the subjects that NGZ is welcome to exhibit because l also have to earn a living.

L.C. – What is art for you ?
L.K. – Art is my life!, or rather a way of life which is why l produce quality paintings even when customers are scarce.

 

Interview: Lovemore KambudziImage courtesy of Lovemore Kambudzi

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L.C. – What is your creative process like?
L.K. – l use pencil on paper first to make my sketches inspired by day to day life activities with people and places as l move around. Back in my studio, l draw my sketches on canvas where dauds of paint coalese into large vibrant scenes bringing contemporary Zimbabwe to life.

L.C. – Do you think IT’S LIQUID Group can represent an apportunity for artists?
L.K. – Absolutely Yes ! IT’S LIQUID Group pays hommage to my cultural background while it brings it to an universal disclose.

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