“I want to show the world that a woman’s place is not just in the kitchen”

Lorraine Mamvura has been entirely inspired and influenced by her husband Elvis. She finished her O-levels at Roosevelt Girls High in Harare in 1998, determined to become an air hostess. But marriage intervened at the tender age of 16, and Elvis encouraged her to start sculpting alongside him as his apprentice at the Chitungwiza Art Centre.

For several years she has been learning how to apply the tools of the trade, and progressed to full-time sculpting with sales of her work to several international collectors in Canada, South Africa and Belgium.

It is particularly challenging for women in Zimbabwe to take up stone sculpting, not least because of the time and dedication required, but also because it is a patriarchal society.

“Most people think this is purely a man’s job. I want to prove them wrong”, says Lorraine.

Her determination to produce high quality works is equalled by the enjoyment she derives from sculpting. “I feel like the whole world is flowing over me when I sculpt” she
says.

“Sometimes I use my imagination, sometimes what is around me inspires me, and sometimes my sculptures spring from my dreams”. Her style varies from depictions of women going about their daily chores, to more abstract work, in an attempt to capture in stone the feelings that flow between a couple. Her stone of choice is Opal because of the lightness of colour and grain, but she also works in Springstone.

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