Archive for January 12, 2014

Artist of the moment…….Fanizani Akuda

Fanizani Akuda was one of the first generation Shona artists of Zimbabwe. Ethnically he was of Chewa decent. Fanizani Akuda was born in the Mteya, Zambia in the year 1932. Though he was not ethnically a member of the Shona tribe, he is a recognized as a shona artist.

Akuda grew up in Rhodesia and worked as a general laborer picking cotton and working on various farm jobs. Eventually he took a job with the farm of Tom Blomefield  of the renowned Tengenenge  sculpture park. The farm was known for its deposits of great carving stone. Eventually Akuda worked in the quarry of the farm, took up sculpting on his own, then retired and became a professional artist.

His signature character is a whistling person. These are very unique and due to a correctly placed hole on the head, a viewer can actually make sound that is similar to a whistle by putting your thumb over the mouth. You tap it and it sounds like a whistle! From an artistic view its tough to imagine a more animated sculpture than one that produces noise. Similar to kinetic art like Alexander Calder, but with more participation for the viewer.

Fanizani Akuda passed away in 2011.

Price range information: Sorry none available.

For me a true work of art is something that can be appreciated by children. A work like this is dynamic enough to capture the attention of both children and adults!

In this clip a brief visit to the studio of Akuda. We meet him and view many smaller works: