ZIMBABWEAN artist, Gareth Nyandoro has been voted winner of the Emerging Voices 2016 Art Award in London.
His work is mainly composed of abstract depictions of commercial life and everyday life such as a pair of shoes, a bicycle or clothes drying on a line.
Nyandoro creates his art by slicing paper cutouts with blades and painstakingly scratching out an image and stripping away layers of paper, scraps of which are later incorporated back into the painting. He then fills the incisions with ink that bleeds across the canvas.
Commenting on his approach to art, Nyandoro said: “I try to recreate situations that people don’t see as important. I want to show them what they are missing. I try to connect my work to its surroundings. It becomes part of the environment.”
Maria Varnava, co-director of Tiwani Contemporary, a London gallery that represents international emerging and established artists said Nyandoro’s work evokes humdrum human interactions.
“He is a keen observer of human behaviour,” she said.
Nyandoro (34) graduated with a diploma in fine art from Harare Polytechnic in 2003 before advancing his studies in creative art and design at the Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe.
He says he developed his distinctive style in part as a result of a scarcity of materials. “We didn’t have conventional materials for etching, linocut or silk-screen printing at my college, so we just improvised, sometimes cutting into paper to make prints,” he says. “But when I was experimenting, I realised the plate I was using to print was actually a finished piece of work itself.”
Currently based at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam where he is residency artist, Nyandoro is fast becoming a recognised talent in international art circles. He recently represented Zimbabwe in the 56th Venice Bienniale and is currently preparing for a solo show at Cape Town’s SMAC gallery this year.
*The award is sponsored by the FT/OppenheimerFunds which aims to recognise extraordinary artistic talent in three categories – fiction literature, film-making and art across more than 100 emerging market nations.