Born 1968 in Nyanga
Brian Nyanhongo was born into a well-known sculpting family. At an early age, he was introduced to sculpture by his famous father, Claud Nyanhongo, and was able to watch the progress of his sister, Agnes, and brother, Gedion.
He trained as a school teacher and started his career in this field. Sculpting, however, remained his first love and, after much soul-searching, he decided to make it his life work. Since then, he has exhibited all over the world and has created a large body of fine work. Brian Nyanhongo is a strong, determined, and dedicated stone sculptor.
His pieces were often small, but in recent years, he has concentrated on larger, more powerful and expressive works.
Born 1967 in Nyanga
Gedion Nyanhongo belongs to an illustrious family of sculptors whose name has international recognition. His work explores the psychological depth of the relationship between family members within traditional and contemporary African society. It shows immense respect for the way African traditions have established important family traits such as respect for elders, protection of women and children, and the importance of aunt as advisor within the family circle.
Gedion Nyanhongo worked with the late sculptor Joseph Ndandarika. Like Ndandarika, he deals adroitly with the mass, bulk and weight of stone. Huge sculptures come easily to him while smaller works are expressive, emotive, and superbly finished.
Born in 1958 in Guruve. Died 1995
Brighton Sango started his career at Tengenenge and his early work was much influenced by the figure-head of the community, Bernard Matemera. To see his early figurative pieces with enlarged features and grotesque faces makes his later sculpture all the more remarkable.
He became the only sculptor to work with purely abstract imagery, setting an important example. He portrays a wide range of ideas, sometimes of figurative origin, but often exploring human emotion and thought.
His tragic suicide in 1995 was a desperately sad loss for the art community in Zimbabwe and his many collectors and admirers.
Born in 1970 in Malawi
Amos Supuni finished his secondary school in 1989 and joined a community self-help project for unemployed youths. Tapfuma Gutsa, whose studio was close by, came to assist with basic lessons and encouraged Supuni to persevere. In 1996 he was selected for the Chapungu Residence Program and spent two very creative years at the park working on larger and harder stones and seeing a rapid development of his work.
Supuni is much concerned about social issues and sees his work as " a voice for the voiceless", often tackling subjects such as poverty, street kids and desperation.
Born in 1948 in Nyanga. Died in 1997
The younger brother of John Takawira, Bernard is also considered amongst the most important sculptors of Zimbabwe and his death was a sad blow. In nearly 40 years as an artist he won many awards and traveled extensively.
A deeply committed Christian he was philosophical about life and traditional cultural values as opposed to Christian beliefs, often translating his thoughts into powerful and evocative stone sculpture.
Bernard created numerous works of exceptional quality and stature.
Born in 1966 in Nyanga
The son of John Takawira. Gerald assisted his famous father while struggling to develop his own artistic identity. While the influence of his father is still evident in some subject matter, the treatment of these subjects is increasingly personal. He has emerged as an important young sculptor in his own right.
He prefers the exceptionally hard Mpingi Springstone but also works in Dolomite and Lepidolite.
Born in 1938 in Chegutu. Died in 1989.
Amongst the most acclaimed of Zimbabwean sculptors John Takawira has more works in the permanent collection of the National Gallery than any other artist.
From the inception of the Workshop School to his untimely death in 1989 he was an acknowledged leader. Like Mubayi a staunch traditionalist, his work reflects aspects of his own culture with strength and simplicity. Always an inspiration to young artists he brought stature and credibility to the genre.
Born in 1962 in Gutu District. Died in 2001
Separated from his parents during the struggle for liberation, Gladman Zinyeka settled in Harare in 1983 and started to sculpt in 1985.
His role model was Samson Kuvhengurwa, whose very innovative work deeply impressed him. Zinyeka depicted the everyday life of those he knew. He acutely expressed the suffering of the poor and unemployed. "I stand for the poor! I am lucky because I can shout through the stone!"
Zinyeka worked mainly in Springstone, using unworked parts of the stone and different textures to great effect. He also produced some striking works in Opal Stone and other materials.
The sudden death of Zinyeka in 2001 was a sad loss for the arts community in Zimbabwe.