8 February 2019

Zimbabwe: Andy Brown's Son Takes On Visual Art

When most of his siblings have taken their father's mantle, living through music, Andy Brown's son Ushe (16) has embraced visual art to diversify from family business. Though still practising music, Ushe intends to build a name in painting which he describes as his first love.

"My first love is painting then music comes second. I do consider doing music not because it runs in the family but because I want to explore that other side of me as well.

"Something odd which I find about me is I'm not fascinated by the guitar which happened to be my father's favourite instrument and my siblings' too, but piano to me is more heart detailing," he said.

Ushe, a student at Moonrise High in Hatfield, started out drawing comics before taking on the brush to create abstract paintings.

"Instead of playing around with the pencil I decided to make use of paint which is more visual. Colour has the power to tell the mood of the art

"Life in general inspires me because it is like a riddle. I don't have words to define life I express it better in painting," he said.

He describes his abstract painting as freedom of expression and wheel of life.

Music is one great legacy Andy Brown left his children with most of them taking it on in their early teens.

Years after his death, the world still gets to enjoy Andy's brilliance through his children who have slowly risen to stardom, among them Ammara, Chengeto and Alex.

Visual art is one of the most paying and fast growing creative genres in the country. From it, young talent has risen representing the country on many platforms.

Among the many emerging talents is Troy Makaza who will next week enjoy spotlight at the annual Investec Cape Town Art Fair presenting an array of art works.

Makaza is among eight artistes from across the continent who were picked to showcase their solo projects in the "Tomorrows/Today" section, curated by South Africa's Tumelo Mosaka.

"Tomorrows/Today" which runs from February 15 to 17 is a special curated section to put spotlight on bright new talents from across the continent.

In an interview with Herald Arts, Makaza said he appreciates being selected to be part of the project.

"Coming to an art fair is always a great opportunity to meet fellow artists from different countries and to see first-hand what my peers in other countries are doing.

"It is also an opportunity to learn, since the art fair has an educational talks programme with a range of discussions by industry experts.

"Of course, I would love to win the prize for 'Tomorrows/Today', which would mean a solo exhibition at Zeitz MoCAA and other rewards, but the opportunity to present a solo special project at this highly visible platform is already fantastic," he said.

At 24, Makaza is quickly emerging as one of Zimbabwe's brightest new international talents in sculpture.

His unique style - brightly coloured silicone woven sculptures- has captured the attention of audiences all over the world.

Some of his work is currently on show in Cape Town's Zeitz MoCAA museum as part of the Five Bhobh exhibition of Zimbabwean art.

"Apart from the exhibition at Zeitz MoCAA, I had the honour of doing the 'Curator's Choice' project at the Joburg Art Fair 2018, 'Defying the Narratives' at Ever Gold Projects in San Francisco as well as being part of 'The Black Sphinx II', at Primo Marella Gallery in Milan as well as 'Another Antipodes/Urban Axis', a major exhibition of contemporary African art in Fremantle, Australia," said Makaza.

Other local artistes at the fair include Amanda Mushate, Julio Rizhi and Helen Teede all exhibiting under First Floor Gallery Harare.

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