"Vibrant Elegance" by Witness Bonjisi
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Born in 1975 into a family of seven and is younger brother to renowned sculptor, Lameck Bonjisi. His other brother Tafunga Bonjisi is a sculptor whose pieces can also be found at Hemingway Gallery. Witness attended primary education in Domboshava, Chinamhora and then completed his secondary studies in Mabvuku, near Harare.
Witness started sculpting at age 17 with Nicholas Mukomberanwa (one of the most famous first-generation Shona sculptors), as did his brother Lameck. Witness then moved on to sculpting with his brother Lameck of whom he was inspired by. Five years later he started sculpting his own works. Witness has flown to America and Switzerland attending workshops and exhibiting. His sculptures can be found throughout the world in private collections and galleries.
Country of Origin:
- Hand carved in Zimbabwe
Dimensions (in inches):
- Depth: 9"
- Width: 14"
- Height: 15"
Type of Stone:
- Red Jasper
Red Jasper is an amazing semi-precious stone that was only recently discovered for carving in Zimbabwe. The lines and patterns in the stone are naturally formed over millions of years. The dark lines are from layers of prehistoric sediments and have no effect on the hardness of the stone. White quartz is also frequently found in Red Jasper. These details make each piece of Red Jasper completely unique. The beautiful deep red color is particularly appealing to many Shona artists and is an extremely hard stone and very difficult to carve.
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- This piece is free-standing.
- This piece can be displayed inside or outside.
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 correlates directly to the asking prices of artists in Zimbabwe and the costs of importing their artwork to the U.S. We need to change the idea that artists should be paid pennies for their fine art just because it comes from Africa.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-838-3650 with the SKU # for further information on this piece.
Shona Sculpture from Zimbabwe is one of the main focuses of Hemingway Gallery, which was the first gallery to import the monumental stone sculpture to the United States. Brian Gaisford grew up with the Shona artists in Zimbabwe before 1975. Zimbabwe is the only African country with large amounts of carvable stone. The stone was so important to the people of Zimbabwe that the word 'Shona' is derived from a word from 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 hammer and chisel and no modern power tools are used. Themes articulated in stone stem from several beliefs and cultures in the everyday Shona society. These include mythology, rituals, and spiritual ideology. 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."
Works from first generation Shona sculptors such as Henry Munyaradzi, Sylvestor Mubayi, Josiah Manzi, Bernard Takawira, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, and Bernard Matemera, are much sought after by art collectors worldwide. Hemingway Gallery has had a close relationship with these artists and continues the relationship with the last surviving first generation sculptures (Josiah Manzi and Sylvester Mubayi) and the subsequent generations of artists. Hemingway African Gallery was the first gallery to import Shona sculpture into the United States. It continues as the largest wholesale importer of Zimbabwean art including monumental sculptures that other importers shy away from.
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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.
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