Lesley Musonda is truly queen of mosaic

ONE of the outstanding ways to be conspicuous on the art scene is to have a unique, creative style. Intricate mosaic pieces have certainly led to Lesley Musonda gaining fame among her contemporaries. Here is her ‘five minutes of fame’ on the Zambian art scene.
“I lost my first ever art inspiration, my biological mother, 19 years ago,” Lesley shares. “She used to be and still is one of my inspirations as she was a multi-talented artist herself.
“I personally started drawing at a very tender age and I recall that I was in my fifth grade when I liked to draw especially behind my school books and as I reached my seventh grade in 2004, I used to draw for my classmates maps and other images especially in social studies at a small fee.
“As I got to my tenth grade, I took up art and design as one of the options and passed with a distinction at Grade 12. After school, I started drawing more often and later decided to attach myself to an art institution and joined Zambia National Visual Arts Council, where I met other visual artists who were very inspiring.”
Lesley was particularly drawn to the art of mosaic, because of the amount of dedication the art requires and the satisfaction driven from the finished piece.
“I actually find it soul igniting to create with mosaic and combine the different colours of paper according to their shades or tones,” she says. “Mosaic art gives me unique peace within myself including some deep happiness that is unexplainable.
“Majority of my mosaic art pieces are A3 in size and usually take 9-12 weeks to complete. The process is extremely intricate, often times it requires a needle to put together the pieces.
“I have noticed that majority of Zambian visual artists that I have met so far are painters, it then gives me a unique advantage to major in a not so fatigued genre.”
I still have a vivid image of a mosaic piece I saw during Lesley’s solo exhibition at Tambonja in the Lusaka Showground. It was the depiction of a jockey mounted on his horse. At first glance, it looked like a painting, but a closer look revealed its true craft and technique.
Apart from mosaic, Lesley is good at paintings and drawings, including the male dominated sign writing which she has done for many clients around the capital city of Lusaka.
“I have found myself also loving the climbing of ladders and avoided myself from limiting my potential to do sign writing,” she says.
Lesley says her highest point in her artistic journey has been creating what she calls her audience which continues to form her faithful clientele both locally and internationally.
The queen of mosaic has exhibited widely locally and has two solos to her name.
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