The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Gallery Showcases Basket Art

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in collaboration with Lupane Women's Centre and South Africa's Kingston University is currently showcasing a basket exhibition. Building baskets is a research project curated by South African Kingston graduate Candice O'Brien and Professor Catherine McDermott.

Prof McDermott introduced contemporary African creativity to Kingston University's curriculum.

And the exhibition is showcasing a collection of hand-made basket crafted from natural fibres and grasses.

Some of the beautiful pieces on display include bowls, mirrors, washing and shopping baskets as well as tool boxes, among others.

Recently, two United Kingdom designers - Simon Maidment and Carl Clerkin - led a two-week workshop in Zimbabwe.

The workshop afforded 25 weavers the opportunity to explore their creativity through the process of design, language and thinking.

The artifacts exhibited during London Design Festival in September last year, were the product of manager of the Lupane Women's Centre, Hildegarde Mufukare, who also took part in a week-long professional development trip to the United Kingdom.

Speaking about her experience, she said: "I already have a lot of ideas to put to test. One other thing I learnt is to believe in the products and be fully convinced they are what we want to do."

The second instalment of the exhibition at the gallery will include improved and developed products by the weavers.

The project is multi-disciplinary, aiming to forge equal and sustainable partnerships between world development institutions and experts in the UK and Africa.

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