6 May 2019

Namibia: Cattle in Stone Serve As Metaphor for the Wellbeing of the Namibian Herd

A solo exhibition of stone sculptures by renowned visual artist Alfeus Mvula opens this Thursday, 09 May 2019 at the National Art Gallery in Windhoek.

Mvula has selected 35 sculptures from his work of the past ten years, all reflecting the pivotal role of cattle in rural society.

About his earlier work, Dr Meredith Palumbo said "Mvula's artwork and personal life is influenced by his early experiences in rural Namibia. [His] subject matter references his rural roots and includes depictions of cattle, traditional objects, African dress and the landscapes of northern Namibia."

Mvula sees cattle as a metaphor for human society, hence the exhibition title "Metaphor." Described as the Oongombe installation, the exhibition presents 35 stone representations of cattle heads.

The artist himself commented, "Head is part of the body; head is someone in charge of leading (a group), head is the place of our mind and your mental abilities." The heads have the ability to represent numerous things."

"My intention is to have a massive production of heads of cattle, with my physical force" he said, observing that the large installation symbolises the Namibian nation as a herd that moves together and when one disrupts the flow eg. not following road safety rules he can put the rest in danger.

Alpheus Mvula is an accomplished Namibian artist specializing in sculpture and printmaking. He was born in 1972 at Oyovu village in Owamboland. Moving to Windhoek, he first studied at the John Muafangejo Arts Centre and then did a diploma in Visual Arts at the College of the Arts. He also studied in Germany.

Mvula's creations have been exhibited in a dozen countries.

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