Mushroom challenges artists to expand their skills

BY TENDAI SAUTA
Richard, aka Mushroom, Mupumha, ABSTRACT’s Visual Art Communicator has challenged other artists to broaden their artistic practice by connecting with other art disciplines such as fashion, music and film in order to stay relevant while gaining better skills to reach larger markets to attract.

The Chitungwiza Arts Centre-based award-winning and globally acclaimed stonemason and folk guitarist said: “I’ve sailed through the COVID-19 lockdown combining and swapping musical skills, tailoring and stone carving depending on the food on the table would bring .

“I’m a guitarist, I play and compose gospel songs for guitar. During the lockdown I promoted my songs Imikaimi Mukwane, Pasipano idandaro and Imheni here? I have traveled to Germany nine times as a visual artist to teach at schools or individuals. I became better known for my guitar, which I strummed perfectly the whole time.”

Mupumha is famous for depicting social ills through its carvings such as Kakara Kununa Hudya KamweShona for accumulating wealth by exploiting others, Sekuru Kaguvi, kissing lovers and Kurova Ngomaamong other.

“If someone wants to go abroad to market themselves as an artist, they should have all the details and knowledge of their art and skills. Take the time to master your art and be creative in whatever you come across, and you should be able to teach art in a friendly way,” he said.

Mushroom challenged artists to be true to themselves and expand their artistry to other areas.

“Art is not just stone carving. Build strong skills in all aspects of Zimbabwean culture such as dress, beauty, housing, education, dance and music. The coronavirus or COVID-19 has destroyed my work. Buyers do not come in large numbers and that is a very big challenge for my work as a visual artist.”

Mupumha is a member of the Fun City Theater Band, an innovation he dreamed up with The’s Noel Marerwa See Mutema Fame.

The Theater Center, based at the Chitungwiza Arts Centre, has recruited interns to record a music album. “I love art more than anything in the world. I associate it with music, dance and theatre,” Mupumha added.

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