15 Apr 2012

stART Just Imagine Project Workshop in Mfuwe

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Living in a Game Management Area (GMA) adjacent to the South Luangwa National Park:  an area densely populated by wildlife and ridden by human-animal conflict, the children from the Kakumbi and Nsefu chiefdoms are well used to looking out of their window at night and seeing elephants in their village.

It was fitting therefore that the recurrent motif that appears in the paintings from the workshop is the elephant. Other prevalent themes reflected the contradictory environment the children occupy. Birds, sunshine and landscapes celebrated the beauty of the natural environment, while depictions of felled trees commented on the impact of deforestation – a result of population growth.

The regenerative power of art became clear as orphaned children or those with special needs had the opportunity, often for the first time, to visually express themselves. Led by renowned artist and stART founder member Pam Guhrs-Carr in partnership with local artists Godwin Bishedi and Aaron Banda, eight workshops with an oversubscription of fifty children, were run.

Overcoming the odds so prevalent in the ‘bush’ when paint ran out, ‘bush paints,’ were made mixing different coloured earths, yellow oxide, crushed sweet potato leaves, crushed charcoal, lime and  bound together by wood glue.

From the vast artistic output, selections were made and showcased at the ‘Ubwile Exhibition.’ Proceeds generated from the sale of these works will go to fund further art education initiatives so lacking in remote rural areas.