Artist celebrates traditional kitchen hut

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CONTEMPORARY Zimbabwean artist, Gideon Gomo specialising in conceptual, abstract and figurative pieces will be exhibiting at the Village Unhu Gallery in a show titled: Nhungo.

The exhibition, opening on Thursday is testament of how far Zimbabwean stone sculpture has travelled, both thematically and structurally.

Gomo has given stone new movement and a new face which puts him a cut above his contemporaries.
What makes his works particularly unique is that he introduces kinetic, whimsical and almost playful movement in his pieces.

The title references the four main poles that are used when constructing the main cone of a traditional round kitchen.

It also represents the pressure surrounding the furnace of the hut.
Apart from the customary appreciation and understanding of the round kitchen hut, Gomo decides to expand and develop the concept.

“In this exhibition, my main idea is to represent the structure of a family and the pressure that it faces. It also highlights the challenges and emotional stresses and struggles that are faced by men as they try to keep family together,” he said.

Whereas the first generation of artists tended to work the stone’s surface mainly, the new generation of artists are taking experimentation to a whole new level, digging deep into the veins of stones — twisting and turning the rock and adding new elements — thereby giving birth to new designs and other worldly expressionism.

In his new showcase, Gomo exquisitely manipulates stones, wood, steel and other objects to create works that are psychologically charged yet effortlessly expressive and reflect high obsession with human emotion.

He explores the technical and architectural structures of the rural kitchen hut in particular appreciating the poles that make the centre beam from which the installations hang.

Of his work, Gomo reflects: “In Shona culture, the round kitchen is the heart of the home. In many important ways the round kitchen is the cooperation of tomorrow. It represents tomorrow through how it fosters new relations and untimely relations.”

He added that the Nhungo represents the four main pillars that provide balance, identity and stability.
The exhibition will feature a connecting umbilical code that stretches into the interior of the gallery to represent the fragments of the necessity of being anchored.

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To experience Gomo’s gigantic works is like stepping onto a new finding, a new eye-opening world of the arts.
The more you look at his work, the more it evokes a kaleidoscope of emotions.
His work has been exhibited in many galleries around the world. He has polished his artistic execution that he can light up the magic in stone, giving it glory and soul.

The mysticism and excellence of Gomo’s work is enhanced by the fact that he uses the additive and subtractive method in creating form. In the additive method, he uses objects such as metal, wood and chains while in the subtractive method he chisels out raw stone to give his work emotional depth.

The culmination is a body of work that interweaves multiple emotions.
His work conquers the visual space through elevation and kinetic movement: in a word, it has a huge dose of scientific artistic expressionism. He takes the Russian doll motif to a new level by incorporating elements within elements as he places small stone heads within the core of bigger heads.

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