Bases and Pedestals
Gallery South Africa
Directors Standard Choice
Title: Selected Artists
Material: Stone sculptor
Current Location: Harare
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Sydney Majengwa was born in 1972 in Bulawayo, although he never received any general art education, he started he started to sculpt having seen the work of Biggie Kapeta. Having seen Kapetas work Sydney thought he might express similar sentiments in stone.
He attended Bhabo Granande Primary School and jingornvura Senior but later ran away to from school to become a sculptor. He made tools from nails and at first only made torsos. He sold his first piece at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe where he received a highly recommended certificate; this encouraged him to continue working.
In the early 1990s he worked for a man who owned a stone mine and was introduced by this man to Chapungu Sculpture Park, where he was exposed to the work of great sculptors. He later joined the Tengenenge Sculpture Community where he worked alongside the late Bernard Matemera who taught him to be entirely original as a sculptor. Sculpt what you feel you should in a way that is completely yours, said matemera. At Tengenenge he began to sculpt heads, owls and many sculptures, which dealt with the spiritual realm and its effect on mortal life.
Sydney majengwa joined Chapungu Sculpture Park as a Resident Artist in 2002, and here he continues his quest to make better sculptures. I strive to produce pieces that can compete with or surpass those done by well established artists.
As a sculptor he believes that his social role is to reincarnate the Shona values that have been eroded by ways of the modern society, his Young Nehanda (Green Opal) is the celebration of the deed of a cult cult heroine) Mbuya Nehanda, the woman who defied all and sundry to safeguard traditional values, and spiritual beliefs. Although Majengwa is a member of the Guta Ra Jehovha Apostolic Church he still represents African tradition and their changing emphases in his cultures. In African culture owls are associated with witches and anything that is evil, Owl (2002 Opal Stone) is a massive portrait f an owl, the bird that roams around in the middle of the night. With two feathers that look like horns, strange eyes and a cat like face, this owl is a confirmation of the existence of witchcraft in an African setting.
Having matured a great deal as a sculptor, Sydney majengwa enjoys exploring realistic subjects in his work, the subject that borders around everyones life.
He aspires to work on harder stones, to experiment with other media, and to express sentiments which come directly from the societies in which he moves, urban and rural.