Additional Information: A superb stone sculpture from a anonymous Shona sculptor.The sculpture depicts a Mermaid, the beautiful female half human half fish known as the spirit of water "Mami Wata", a very famous subject in African sculpture and represented very often in the sculpture of Zimbabwe. Although the name of the artist is unknown, this sculpture remains a wonderful piece that would be a good addition to any collection of contemporary African art .
All Shona sculpture was made after 1965. Frank McEwan, an Englishman, who was director of the Rhodes National Gallerey in what was then Southern Rhodesia, began a school in 1956, and in 1965 encouraged the students, who had been painting, to move to stone. See Oliver Sultan's Life in Stone.
I have a huge collection of Shona pieces in rapocco, green and black serpentine, leopard rock, and verdite--some are four feet tall!
In our extensive time in Zimbabwe, we saw an enormous amount of wonderful sculpture. We did the largest amount of our buying from a wonderful co-op of about forty artists.
My partner apprenticed with them, and learned to repair sculpture, which she has done for galleries, museums, and private collections. Instead of putting pieces in the fire, as they do in Zimbabwe, we use space heaters, hair dryers, and pots of boiling water.
Recommended Reading: Joosten, Ben SCULPTORS FROM ZIMBABWE, THE FIRST GENERATION, Galerie de Strang, Lexicon, 2001; Celia Winter-Irving, STONE SCULPTURE IN ZIMBABWE. CONTEXT CONTENT & FORM, Roblaw Publishers, Harare, Zimbabwe, 1995
Franck MCEwen, THE AFRICAN WORKSHOOP SCHOOL, Rhodesia, n.d
Olivier Sultan, LIFE IN STONEIN ZIMBABWEAN SCULPURE. BIRTH OF A CONTEMPORARY ART FORM. Second edition, Harare, 1999