‘From the Vault’ entailed that we had to go into the storage spaces of both Fort Hare and Stellenbosch Universities to unearth these collections which have accumulated so much history as an attempt to bring them into the light. We were not so much interested in the grand narrative nor the well-known artists, but we aimed to reveal histories that have been silenced or hidden by remaining in the vault. We also aimed to identify gaps in these histories. We are also aware that in exposing the silenced, we were silencing others too.
Author: Barnabas Muvhuti
In this exhibition, Mapondera, who is known for his paintings on canvas and the trademark installations of tapestries weaved out of cardboard, went beyond his orthodox creative style to work with wood and metal, as well as to incorporate sound. Thus, the work appeals to more senses beyond the visual. This body of three-dimensional works is a narrative of Zimbabweans’ survival strategies or their coping mechanisms in the face of the endless hardships
Barnabas Ticha Muvhuti on recent work of Wallen Mapondera from Zimbabwe
Tuck Shop 4, 2019
Self-fulfilment is the primary reason I do the work. That is why I insert and immerse myself in the work. Even when I am doing painting or textile work, I find a way of portraying self in the work. Raising awareness of issues is the reason I do live art. I like it because the impact is direct and immediate. I almost force my audience to react instantly.
Barnabas Ticha Muvhuti in conversation with Kresiah Mukwazhi
For me performing is an extension of my art production, I get to channel suppressed traits like confidence, I get to speak and heal from issues that bother me, but most importantly physically engaging the space takes the work to another dimension. So it makes sense to physically connect with the audience because the issues I engage aren’t translated into an art object since I am mostly interested in invoking emotion. So what better way to be present and illustrate, my journey of learning which has been an uphill experience, than to use my body, voice, and presence?