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Gareth Nyandoro won the $40,000 prize in the art category, at the second Financial Times/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices awards held in New York on Monday. The FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices awards recognise the most inventive and creative fiction writers, film-makers and artists from emerging market countries in Africa and the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The awards attracted nearly 800 entries, with the winners selected by judging panels that included Elif Shafak, the Turkish writer and commentator, Iwona Blazwick, director of London’s Whitechapel Gallery, and Mira Nair, the Indian director of Salaam Mumbai! and, most recently, Queen of Katwe.

Lionel Barber, Financial Times (FT) editor, said: “The Emerging Voices awards reflect both the FT’s deep interest in the newly emerging economies and our longstanding commitment to encouraging and reporting on the arts. With these awards, we aim to recognise outstanding talent in these countries, but also to bring their work to the attention of our readers and a wider public.”

 

A printmaker by education, Nyandoro developed his distinctive style in part as a result of a scarcity of materials. “When I majored we didn’t have conventional materials for etching, linocut or silk-screen printing, so we were just improvising, sometimes cutting into paper to make prints,” he says. “But when I was experimenting, I realised the plate I was using to print was actually a finished piece of work itself.”

This makeshift approach led to the development of an expressive style of printmaking, incorporating elements of drawing, etching, painting, weaving and collage. Dubbing his technique “Kuchekacheka” — kucheka means to cut in Shona — Nyandoro slices paper cutouts with blades, painstakingly scratching out an image and stripping away layers of paper, the scraps of which are later incorporated back into the painting. He then fills the incisions with ink that bleeds across the canvas. The process allows the artist to create images that look like etchings but can be made on a larger scale. “I try to connect my work to its surroundings. It becomes part of the environment,” he says.

Market forces: Gareth Nyandoro’s work evokes humdrum human interactions amid the frenetic nature of Harare’s street life

 

 

Born in 1982, Nyandoro graduated with a diploma in fine art from Harare Polytechnic in 2003 and completed his studies in creative art and design at Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe, in 2008. With a residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam and a sold-out solo show at Tiwani Contemporary already under his belt, his name is becoming well known. He recently represented Zimbabwe at the 56th Venice Bienniale and is busy preparing a solo show at Cape Town’s SMAC gallery.

Source: Financial Times

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