BY VALERIE KABOV
First Floor Gallery is incredibly proud to present Amanda Mushate’s second solo exhibition. At just 25, Mushate is establishing herself as a leading voice in contemporary Zimbabwean painting and an innovative young abstractionist with a growing international reputation.
As a young woman and a new mother, in a male-dominated field, Mushate is also a role model and an advocate for women artists making a career possible without sacrificing family.
After completing her studies at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Visual Arts Studio in 2016, Mushate was mentored by Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude to develop a vibrant and unique personal vision and modes of expression, presenting her first solo exhibition in 2018 with First Floor Gallery.
Like any young person, Mushate is preoccupied with finding and shaping her place and path in this world, while negotiating the complexity of interpersonal relationships.
Drawing her inspiration from music and from people around her, but not wanting to be constrained by over figuration, she paints and sculpts her happiness and burdens, and the things that she takes time to visualise.
“Art is a way for me to write about a ‘future’ for me and for all individuals for them to never be overshadowed by negative influences that divert us to our true purpose in life.”
Mushate’s passionate, playful and maze-like canvases have been winning critical and international collector attention globally with works in important private collections in Cape Town, New York, Harare, London, Amsterdam and Paris.
Nguva ine Muridzi means “Time has its Master” in ChiShona, a poignant statement about the issue of time and a valiant assertion from an artist who is addressing herself to agency and creative power, amid paradigm shifting circumstances and balancing career ambitions with and traditional and personal imperatives.
Time has its owner, suggests that time is not independent of an experience or interpretation of what took place, a matrix of narratives which can occupy the same space simultaneous and yet describe very different perspectives and understandings shared and unshared.
If we look at the canvases in this dramatic new body of work, this voluminous complexity is inescapable.
Each work emerges as a symphonic orchestral composition with structural foundations built up through layers of colour some dense some translucent creating an emotional landscape, through which different melodic lines emerge to articulate a multiplicity of voices and points of view, with fleeting moments of figuration floating in and out of view in the same way that in life we shift our focus on people and relationships even as we share the same space and time.
These works are not a contemplative conversation with the canvas, they are entirely immersive environments, compelling the viewer to move in and through the work, shift a perspective and feeling of where and how we feel, see and experience our life.
Nguva ine Muridzi is an immersive experience, which challenges us to stop and engage with the time of our own lives in its complex, fluctuating and dramatic beauty and to own it.
It is a testament to personal courage of the artist and an invocation to all of us at least try the same.