A heart warming story……
“Thinking About Rebuilding”
By Tendai Gwaravaza of Chitungwize Arts Community, Zimbabwe – For the People of Christchurch(Opalstone) $650
This is a very special piece of sculpture carved by one of our favourite artists, Tendai Gwaravaza. We have known Tendai now for more than 5 years – not only is he a very talented sculptor, but also a kind, intelligent and honourable man.
When we arrived in Zimbabwe in May this year and visited with Tendai, he explained he had carved this particular sculpture with “the people of Christchurch in my heart” and that he wanted to donate it to help raise funds for the rebuilding program.
You will see on one side of ‘Thinking About Rebuilding’ the echoes of the city’s strong buildings and on the other the collapsed shapes caused by the earthquakes.
Tendai said “I hope that Christchurch will rise again strongly from the damage and that their people know they are not alone – even in Zimbabwe we are thinking of them.” The $650 from the sale of this sculpture will be donated to Christchurch’s Court Theatre rebuilding fund.
Tendai Gwaravaza is a highly respected sculptor at the Chitungwiza Arts Centre. Here is his biography, in his own words:
Tendai pictured with one of his sculptures at Chitungwiza Arts Centre in Zimbabwe – May 2011
“My birth in the summer of the year 1981 brought solace to my family. I am the oldest of 6 siblings and grew gracefully under the guidance of my grandmother. She was an amazing storyteller and potter. Many artists would gravitate to my village from time to time. A wood carver lived nearby, so did an influential blacksmith by the banks of the river. There was the love for art everywhere around me. My father and great inspirational mentor, John Gwaravaza, introduced me to stone sculpting in 1995. We did portraits, busts, penguins and a wider variety of small animal sculptures. Throughout my protégé/mentorship period, I brought to life the art form I call “spiritual shadows” which marked the beginning of a new era for me. My sculpture portrays balance, proportion, colour and imagination and I am pleased to donate 10% of all my sales to charity.”
The Court Theatre in Christchurch reopened in its new premises last Saturday 10th December, 2011, in Addington within an old factory shed. It took just 16 weeks to build a 400 seat theatre after a huge fund raising effort providing a much anticipated injection of entertainment, diversion and pleasure for the people of the City.
We at Birdwoods feel humbled by this gesture from a country and people that know suffering more than any should and are proud to be able to represent them with this effort and hope it won’t be long before we are able to send them a cheque from the stone sculptors of Chitungwize in Zimbabwe.
Until next time, from all of us at Birdwoods x