I am very excited to post about an amazing artist and good friend, Agnes Nyanhongo. Born into a family of acclaimed sculptors, Agnes grew up assisting her father Claud with his sculptures and now has risen to become one of the most acclaimed female African artists in the world.
When you first meet Agnes, you immediately get a sense of warmth and calm. She has a very gentle but self assured manner that comes through both in meeting her in person and in the beautiful art she creates.
Agnes has received much acclaim for her work and has had several exhibitions across the world. Her sculpture is highly sought after and appears in the collections of several well known figures such as the writer Maya Angelou.
Agnes work primarily focuses on women and their roles within family and in society. No matter the subject, you can always tell Agnes' trademark - her distinctive peaceful faces with their closed, crescent shaped eyes and always a lovely contrast of rough, natural rock surfaces and textures and the surfaces and lines.
In her art, Agnes seeks to portray the family values and traditions of Shona culture -as well as social and family problems. Always with a sense of quiet dignity and wisdom. It is very fitting that Agnes portray beautiful, strong women in her sculptures. She is a very strong woman herself, not only by character, but by the sheer force and skill required to hand sculpt such large, hard stones.
Looking at them you immediately feel a sense of calm. Her sculpting of often dictated by the stone she is carving, rather than imposing some internal vision onto the stone, she 'listens to what the stone wants to be', working in harmony with the beauty within the stone itself. I believe it is this harmony with nature that makes this art so moving and often, spiritual.
Learn a little more about Agnes at Mudzimu and at Chapungu. And if you are in Colorado, be sure to check out the wonderful exhibition of Shona Sculpture, at Chapungu Sculpture Park in Loveland, including pieces by Agnes - and get a personally directed tour by the charming Director, Roy Guthrie.