ART YAK with CHANDA MWENYA
I WOULD start by wishing you a Merry Christmas. And because the next time you be reading a subsequent article on this space will be January 1, 2016, I wish you an artistic new year.
I just thought we should have a recap and catch-up of some of the events in the past 360 days.
After the animated social indulging during the festival season, January is usually free of activities but 2015 was particularly special with euphoria of 2014 jubilee celebration running through into the first quarter of the year.
Like other art galleries in the city, the hub of Zambian art, the Henry Tayali Gallery had a series of exhibitions.
The gallery opened its annual exhibition calendar with group shows to basically fill up the space.
In February, however, Kingsley Kapobe opened his solo exhibition, which was followed by Zenzele Chuluâ€™s one man show in March, where the artiste showcased his Schematic Tantrums. In May, Lombe Nsama added another solo show, the exhibition activities.
In June, Dean Nsabashi came out of his self-imposed retirement to have a solo exhibition. Deanâ€™s solo exhibition manly of his miniature works was viewed albeit poor sales. The veteran artiste attributed the poor sale to his long absence from the art scene.
August was show time in Lusaka and Adrian Ngoma and Oliver Sakanyi teamed-up to show their works at Henry Tayali gallery.
In September, Roots of Expression Studios took up the space including new entrant Sara Chibombwe in the group that was anchored on conserving nature.
Henry Tayali Gallery wrapped up the 2015 exhibition with the Custodians exhibition.
2015 also saw UNICEF partner with Zambia Open University to celebrate its 69th anniversary with an art workshop and an art exhibition. â€˜Art Developmentâ€™ as the workshop was dubbed, had the participation of some 20 university art students and the production of artworks advocating childrenâ€™s rights.
Livingstone-based Agness Yombwe travelled to Lusaka to have her solo exhibition at Gallery 37D located in Kabulonga Suburb.
Danny Chilyapa and Raphael Chilufya teamed up in a dual exhibition at Zebra Crossing ABABA House.
And just when I thought it was over, Airtel launched the â€˜Ceremonyâ€™ art Catalogue celebrating Zambiaâ€™s Cultural heritage. The 225-page book highlights the traditional ceremonies from Umutomboko of the Lunda people, to the Kuomboka of the Loziâ€™s, and the Kulamba of the Chewa. Other pages celebrate individual characters such as the Chikuza of the Makishi Masquerade.
Page 70 of the Ceremony catalogue can easily provoke the debate on nudity and culture.
The page reveals young girls in a ritual dance. They have just come out of age. Only beads dangle around their topless chests laying bare their young full breasts. Their eyes reflect innocence and somewhat exposes the challenge of an adult life that awaits them.
Francoise Dâ€™elbee, the photographer behind the pictures, has really captured the Zambian cultural panorama through his lenses.
Although seeming gone too soon, 2015 has been a fruitful year.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to one Matty P, who passed on after an industrious journalism career. He will truly remain inspirational to many of us. MHSRIP.
ART YAK with CHANDA MWENYA