"Liberty" by Perlagia Mutyavaviri

SKU: S265

$1,500 $2,100

Shipping calculated at checkout.

Artist Bio:

Perlagia Mutyavaviri, born in 1977 in Harare, Zimbabwe, started her sculpting journey at 24, immersing herself in the rich stone carving traditions of the Chitungwiza Arts Center. She collaborated closely with sculptor Sylevstor Mubayi, renowned for redefining the Shona art movement's boundaries. Under Mubayi's mentorship, Perlagia honed her skills on challenging stones, an experience she recalls as foundational in her growth, stating, "Sylevstor was the driving force, instilling in me the tenacity and passion for the craft."

Widely recognized as a trailblazer in the Shona sculpture movement, Mutyavaviri intricately employs line, shape, and volume to birth abstract masterpieces. Her works exude a unique elegance, resonating deeply with human emotions and intricate relationships. She believes in the boundless nature of abstract art, saying, "With each stone, I can unravel countless stories and ideas."

Perlagia's remarkable talent hasn't gone unnoticed. Her sculptures have found homes in esteemed galleries and private collections spanning Germany, Africa, the Netherlands, UK, Canada, and the United States. Furthermore, in a domain often dominated by men, Perlagia has not only paved the way but also become an emblematic figure among Zimbabwean female sculptors, gaining global recognition and applause. She passionately believes, "Women sculptors can echo the voices of future African women, expressing narratives otherwise left untold."

Country of Origin:

  • Hand carved in Zimbabwe

Dimensions (in inches):

  • Depth: 9"
  • Width: 14"
  • Height: 23"

Type of Stone:

  • Green Opal
  • Green Opal is sourced in the mines north of the Zimbabwean capital of Harare.  After polishing, it becomes a deep beautiful green. It is favored by many Shona artists as it is not as hard as Springstone but it still polishes to a high shine. The first Green Opal mines were not found until 1989.


  • Subsidized U.S. FedEx Ground shipping: $85
  • Smaller pieces like this are shipped with FedEx Ground in a large box. These pieces are fragile and we take care to ensure your sculpture arrives safely. Shipping fine art is expensive, so we subsidize the cost of shipping for you.
  • Delivery in the New York area is available.
  • We ship around the world! Our website is still new and is not yet processing automatic international shipping rates. Please contact us directly for custom shipping quotes outside the mainland USA (including Hawaii and Alaska).


    • This sculpture includes a wooden base for stability. The base shown in the photos may be different from base you receive. 
    • This piece can be displayed inside or outside as weather will not harm the stone. Please let us know where you plan to display the piece and we will make sure the base is suitable. Shona sculpture is the perfect addition to any garden design!

    About Shona Sculpture:

    Stone sculpture in Zimbabwe, dating from 1956 until today, is the best-known manifestation of African contemporary art. Northern Zimbabwe has uniquely large amounts of carvable stone. The stone was so important to the people that the name ‘Shona’ is derived from a word in their native language that means ‘house of stone.’ There is no technical artistic training in Shona sculpture. Sculpting skills are passed down through families and the large and hard stones are carved with only a hammer and chisel. Hemingway Gallery purchases this sculpture directly from the Shona artists in Zimbabwe and has imported the monumental stone artwork since the early 1980s. These fine modern sculptures are unparalleled in both carving skill and design. Hemingway holds long-standing relationships with artists like Bywell Sango, Sylvester Mubayi, Witness Bonjisi and many more.

    Click the Shona Sculpture tab below for further information!

      Our Pricing:

      Our pricing correlates directly to the asking prices of artists in Zimbabwe and the costs of importing their artwork to the U.S.

      Further Information:

      Please email us at info@hemingwayafricangallery.com or call 212-838-3650 with the SKU # for further information on this piece.

           Hemingway Gallery places significant emphasis on Shona Sculpture from Zimbabwe, which was the first gallery to introduce monumental sizes of the stone sculptures to the United States. Shona sculpture serves as a means of celebrating traditional African motifs while simultaneously being quintessentially modern art, borne out of a 20th-century renaissance. The abundance of carvable stone in Zimbabwe sets it apart as the only African nation with large deposits suitable for sculpting. The significance of stone to the people of Zimbabwe is demonstrated by the fact that the term 'Zimbabwe' translates to 'house of stone' in the Shona native language. In ancient times, unique soapstone carvings of birds adorned the 11th-century city of Great Zimbabwe. 

           Shona sculpture lacks any formal technical artistic training. Instead, sculpting skills are transmitted through families, and the hard, large stones are shaped using just a hammer and chisel, without any modern power tools being employed. Several beliefs and cultures in Shona society inspire the themes conveyed through stone sculptures. These encompass mythology, spiritual ideology, and rituals. The Shona believe that the rock contains images that are revealed to them in their dreams by the spirits of their ancestors. When these images are brought to life through sculpture, the spirits are liberated and become a part of the shared human consciousness, soaring freely. In the words of Bernard Matemera, one of the founders of this movement: "The spirits are everywhere in the air, in the rocks. A rock is like a fruit - like an orange or a banana. You don't eat them without peeling them first. It needs to be opened to be eaten. I open the rocks. The fruit is inside."

           Shona sculptors crafted a unique style that possessed a modern flair reminiscent of Picasso, Brancusi, and Modigliani while still being reflective of traditional Zimbabwean mythology, folklore, rituals, and beliefs. Shona sculpture's significance as one of the most crucial advancements in 20th-century African artwork was firmly established by a significant exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1969.

           Since the early 1980s, Hemingway Gallery has been importing monumental stone artworks from Shona artists in Zimbabwe. The gallery ethically procures this sculpture directly from the source. Works from first generation Shona sculptors such as Henry Munyaradzi, Sylvestor Mubayi, Fanizani Akuda, Josiah Manzi, Bernard Takawira, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, and Bernard Matemera, are much sought after by art collectors worldwide. Despite the passing of the first generation of artists, the gallery collection still holds a limited selection of their pieces. Hemingway had a close relationship with these first Shona carvers and continues the relationship with the subsequent generations of artists. Not only are these modern sculptures of exceptional carving skill and design, but they are also affordable and available in sizes suitable for both indoor and outdoor display.

      Return Policy:

      All sales are final. We take returns for store credit on a case-by-case basis. Please email us at info@hemingwayafricangallery.com

      Shipping Policies:

      Hemingway African Gallery expertly packs all pieces. In the occurrence of an accident, all damaged items must be reported to us within 3 days of delivery. Hemingway African Gallery is not responsible for artworks damaged by the shipping carrier. We do not accept refunds and returns of the damaged products. If you purchase insurance ahead of shipping (recommended), we will file a claim with the shipping company for you.

      You are responsible for all shipping costs (including crating and insurance), calculated on an actual cost basis. Because of this, buyers will be contacted, after the sale, with shipping options for large artworks.

      Hemingway African Gallery works with carriers including USPS, FedEx,  and Service By Air as well as several fine art handling companies. FedEx Ground is the standard shipping used unless otherwise planned. Oversized orders may be packaged and shipped specifically for and arrive via freight service. We strive to find the best, safe rate for your shipment. 

      Hemingway African Gallery is not responsible for carrier delays due to adverse weather conditions or any other unavoidable situations that may result in the carrier being unable to deliver packages. 

      International Shipping Taxes:

      For all shipping methods outside the US, duty and taxes are payable upon receipt of package.  This is a fee that your country charges for delivery of packages coming in from all outside countries and will vary depending on the individual country you live in.  Hemingway African Gallery is not responsible for any duty and tax fees due.  Please check with your local postal carrier for an estimate on what this charge may be prior to placing your order.

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      New York State Sales Tax:

      Orders shipped to addresses within the state of New York are subject to a 8.875% sales tax unless you provide a sales tax exemption certificate.


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