Beautifully-crafted and unique African stone sculpture, ranging from small to large pieces, are the subject of a new exhibition at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery from January 22-February 10.
The sculptures depict mainly human and animal life native to South Africa. The show has been curated by Portsmouth-based quantity surveyor Edgar Makuni.
Edgar explained: “I am originally from Zimbabwe and I came to this country in 2001.
“I am a quantity surveyor and I came for work.
“I work around Portsmouth. I have done projects in Havant and Chichester and Brighton and Southampton, and it was through doing jobs in Chichester that I fell in love with the place. I love the architecture but I also love the people.
“I have been to quite a few places, but because my background is not local, because of my foreign origins, I find it easy to tell how people are in one place compared to another, and I really like Chichester. This is my first exhibition there. I am not an artist. I am the curator. The artists are people in Africa.
“The artists are Zimbabwean. I grew up in Zimbabwe and the artists are from the same community I come from. I got to know these guys a long time ago. Some of them pass their skills on to their children. When I visited Zimbabwe in 2017, I went to see them and I saw that they are still doing brilliant stuff but needed a market. I said I would look into it. I came here and I did some research and I saw this possibility.
“Some pieces are traditional. Some pieces are contemporary. And they work in different stones. At the moment I am dealing with four artists, and there could be around 50 pieces in the exhibition.”
If all goes well, Edgar says he would hope to be staging similar exhibitions in the future.