Keep Us Safe by Leonard Sezhendo at Showcase art gallery at al serial avenue dubai
‘Sacred Spring’ is a major exhibition at the Showcase gallery that features an exquisite collection of sculptures by Zimbabwean artists.

 ‘Sacred  Spring’ is  a  major  exhibition  at the Showcase gallery that features  an  exquisite  collection  of  sculptures.  The  pieces  inspired  by  the  Shona  ethnic  group  of  Zimbabwe,  are   the  works  of  seven   internationally  celebrated  Zimbabwean  sculptors,  including  Dominic  Benhura,  Lovemore  Bonjisi,  Royal  Katiyo,  Tawanda  Makore,  Bywell  Sango,  Leonard  Sezhendo  and  David  White. 

Shona Queen, David White at showcase art gallery in dubai
Shona Queen by David White

   ‘Sacred  Spring’  celebrates  an  art  movement,  which  surfaced  in  Zimbabwe  in  the  1960s,  now  hailed  on  the  international  art  scene.  Perhaps  the  most  important  art  form  to  emerge  from  Africa  this  century,  it   involves   sculptures   of   world   quality   and   natural   brilliance,   extracting   the   individual   spirit   of   the  stone   to   create   joy.   Curated   by   Sharon   Harvey   and   Demitris   Petrides,   works   by   leading   Shona  sculptors  have  been  selected  to  carve  the  intricate  relationship  between  Shona  traditions  and  African  Modernism.  Although  the  younger  artists  may  choose  modern  themes,  the  striking  simplicity  of  their  pieces  reveal  that  they  too  belong  to  this  art  movement  that  first  gained  international  exposure  in  the  1950s.   The   sculptures   created   by   early   sculptors  were   primarily   inspired   by   Shona  mythology.   The  subject  matter   can   be   seen   as   continuing   a   rich   cultural   heritage   that   had   previously   been  mainly  folklore  and  ritual.   

Up and Away by Dominic Benhura at showcase art gallery at al serial avenue dubai
Up and Away by Dominic Benhura

 Beginning  to  sculpt  at  the  tender  age  of  14,  Dominic  Benhura   is  credited  with  the  modernisation  of  Shona  Sculpture  in  the  present  day.  What  Dominic  has  achieved,  maybe  more  than  any  other  artist  of  his  time  is  his  ability  to  create  instantly  recognisable  work.  Just  as  the  way  an  image  of  a  Campbell’s  soup  will   forever   be   bound   to  Warhol,   the  whimsical   playing   children   in   stone   are   quintessentially  Benhura.   Dominic’s   work   has   been   included   in   many   major   exhibitions   both   in   Zimbabwe   and  internationally.   His  works   have   entered  many   significant   collections,   including   The  Hague,   Holland,  The  Nelson  Mandela  Foundation,  South  Africa  and  The  Yorkshire  Sculpture  Park,  UK.  In  2019,  Dominic  Benhura   was   awarded   an   Honorary   Doctorate   of   Philosophy   in   Culture   and   Heritage   from   the  Women’s   University   in   Africa   (WUA).   He   now   works   out   of   his   home   and   is   passing   down   his  knowledge  and  skill  to  many  international  artists  and  local  apprentices.  

Keep Us Safe by Leonard Sezhendo at Showcase art gallery at al serial avenue dubai
Keep Us Safe by Leonard Sezhendo

 Since   opening   his   studio   to   up-­‐and-­‐coming   artists,   Dominic   Benhura’s   transformative   role   of   the  sculptor  as  a  trainer  has  revolutionised  the  manifestation  and  creation  of  Shona  sculpture,  specifically  in  the  work  of  David  White.  On  the  contrary  to  many  other  famous  Zimbabwean  sculptors,  White  did  not  grow  up  in  the  presence  of  relatives  who  were  celebrated  sculptors.  Benhura  sought  him  out  after  seeing  his  extremely   intricate  and  patient  skills.  Over  the  years,  White  has  made  an   impact  with  his  signature   ladies   heads.   The   young   sculptor   has  managed   to   develop   an   incredibly   original   style   in  focusing  on  the  sheer  beauty  of  the  hairstyle.  The  curls  of  the  hair  express  extraordinary  femininity,  which   has   become   his   famous   hallmark.  As   a   contemporary   of   Benhura,   Lovemore   Bonjisi   is   a  respected   sculptor   who   comes   from   a   renowned   Zimbabwean   stone   sculptor   dynasty   with   a   long  history  and  tradition.  His  sculptures  are  featured  in  various  private  collections  all  over  the  world,  and  his  art  has  been  shown  in  numerous  galleries  such  as  Germany,  the  Netherlands,  Australia,  USA,  and  Korea.   Bonjisi’s   art   is   effortlessly   dynamic   and   combines   elements   of   the   Zimbabwean  Shona  Sculpture  Movement  with  ingredients  of  contemporary  world  art.  

Happy Together by  Leonard Sezhendo at showcase art gallery at al serial avenue dubai
Happy Together by Leonard Sezhendo

  Shona   Sculpture   has   received   overwhelming   recognition   from   public   institutions,   museums,   and  private  collectors  in  the  last  decade.  Showcase  Gallery  is  proud  to  present  this  comprehensive  survey  of  a  movement  close  to  our  hearts.  ‘Sacred  Spring’  aims  to  contribute  towards  bringing  the  work  from  the  fringes  of  culture  into  the  central  fold  of  Fine  Arts.  

Showcase Art Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue
Showcase Art Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue

About Showcase Gallery

Showcase was one of the first established galleries in the UAE in the 1990’s and has since established a venerable reputation with art collectors and designers alike.

For the last 14 years it has been owned and run by Sharon Harvey; a Zimbabwean who moved to Dubai in 1987. The gallery has grown from strength to strength since she took over and relocated to the dynamic art district of Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz.  

Showcase is now one of the regions foremost contemporary art spaces, specialising in works from accomplished regional and African talent.

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