Tapfuma Gutsa’s Mulonga exhibition in Binga celebrating Tonga Culture and Heritage

The Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) extended a grant for the showcasing of Tapfuma Gutsa’s Mulonga - Wide Waters and Starry Skies - a celebration of Tonga Culture and Heritage by Tapfuma Gutsa and friends exhibition which debuted on the sidelines of the Harare International Festival of the Arts earlier this year. Sida also apportioned funds for the publishing of a catalogue of the works in the exhibition.

The exhibition was preceded by a weeklong workshop programme with women weavers from the Binga who contributed to the initial project research who will be trained in various techniques and will produce products that will be showcased during the exhibition opening. Products include bags, shopping baskets, hats, fish packaging, neck wallets, branding and accessories.

The exhibition opening and launch has been on Saturday the 21st of July at Tusimbe All Souls Catholic Mission Binga where the works that include photographs, two dimensional art works and musical instruments have been on display. Tapfuma Gutsa’s exhibition was essentially an exploration of the Tonga basket making techniques and a study of the culture and customs of the Tonga people.

This exhibition represented works produced in collaboration with upcoming visual artists and includes a jewelry project, stone sculpture revival project and musical instrument project culminating in the production of a limited edition of functional string instruments.

The exhibition opening has been officially opened by Chief Siansali and marked by a traditional ceremony with chiefs and elders from the region including the slaughter of a beast aimed at sealing a bond of trust and mutual appreciation between the project research team and the local populace, while appreciating the local delicacies Binga has to offer.

Tapfuma was staying on to do further research with the Kwabana Art Centre and work with the axe makers to create print outs of conventional tools and further  collaborate to produce standardized and branded products which are environment friendly solutions and technologies that will economically benefit local craftsmen and the country as a whole.

source: from an article from © Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust