Kundai Marunya Arts Correspondent
As the nation faces economic hardships, men are faced with many challenges to keep their families provided for.
This has put most of them under extreme pressure with stress building up in them.
An outlet is always necessary to diffuse that tension building up because of the high cost of living.
It is against this background that Gideon Gomo dubbed his solo exhibition which opened last week at Village Unhu Gallery in Milton Park, “Nhungo” .
Nhungo are trusses that hold the roof of a traditional hut and in this sense, the man is that binding force. What makes his works particularly unique is that he introduces kinetic and almost playful movement in his pieces.
Apart from the customary appreciation and understanding of the round kitchen hut, Gomo decides to expand and develop the concept to expand to the traditional fronts that still work in stone.
The contemporary sculpture exhibition brilliantly outlines this for all to see, especially this one huge art piece erected in the gallery’s garden space.
Four trusses suspend a huge boulder carved into an open mouth, which is seemingly crying out for help.
Within the open mouth are smaller boulders also crying out.
The art piece seems to be portraying how smaller members, that is the children, are crying out looking at the big father of the family that carries them, who in turn is also crying out for help.
“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 struggles that are faced by men,” said Gomo.
“Nhungo” is testament of how far Zimbabwean stone sculpture has travelled, both thematically and structurally.
Gomo has given stone new movement and a new face.
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 found objects to create works that are psychologically charged yet effortlessly expressive and reflect high obsession with human emotion.
Gomo explores the technical and architectural structures of the rural kitchen hut in particular appreciating that the poles that make the centre beam from which the installations hang.
“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 said.