Top Zim artist takes Thapong residence

Top artist Muskwe will be in Botswana for two months PICS: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Top artist Muskwe will be in Botswana for two months PICS: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

A top Zimbabwean visual artist, Batsirai Muskwe, is in Botswana as a resident at the Thapong Visual Arts Centre where he is on an exchange programme for two months.

While in Botswana, the artist will produce artworks for an exhibition that will be held at Thapong in July. In an interview with Arts&Culture, Muskwe said his visit to Thapong is mainly about a cultural exchange programme which also involves engaging with local artists. “I was invited to Thapong for a cultural exchange programme to be a resident here for two months. During my stay here, I will also exchange ideas with the local artists. After creating artworks, there is going to be an exhibition. I will be exhibiting with a visual artist here in Botswana called Uhuru Kgope. Being here is more like exposing the Zimbabwean art and I also taking in some of the art experience from Botswana and appreciating both of them,” Muskwe said. Muskwe, who is predominantly a painter and also works in mixed media art, said he plans to make the most of his time here to reflect and learn. With close to 30 years of experience as a career visual artist, Muskwe describes himself as a contemporary artist who also does print makings.

“I have been doing art professionally since 1996. I started painting that year, so I’ll say in two years time I’ll be 30 years in the game. But I started art in high school and have been painting ever since, so I have a wealth of experience. It’s my first time to engage in this programme and exhibit here. I had a chance to meet a number of local visual artists on Monday during the Presidential Competitions (National Arts Festival Regional competitions),” he said. “I would like to engage in other activities, hold workshops, share some of my knowledge and impart some of the skills I have and maybe have master workshops. I look forward to visiting some other places and see what’s happening to get a feel of Botswana. Maybe that can also inspire me to produce works that have been made solely here in Botswana,” he added. Furthermore, he stated he has been very impressed by the work he has seen at Thapong, adding that most artists are of high calibre. In his view, art is universal and is different from place to place depending on how the people feel, as such it is not about competition.

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