Friday, October 26, 2007

African sculptures - Chapungu

At Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, they recently had a fantastic exhibit of contemporary stone sculptures from Zimbabwe, called Chapungu. The artists use several types of stone, and typical is that by making it either very smooth and polished or a rough surface, they enhance the shapes of the stone.

" Chapungu, pronounced cha-POON-goo, is a metaphor for the Bateleur eagle, Terathopius ecaudatus, (right) a powerful bird of prey that can fly up to 300 miles in a day at 30 to 50 miles per hour." (link)
"Animals, families, and creatures of legend spring to life in these monumental hand-carved sculptures from Zimbabwe. Carved from opal stone, cobalt, and springstone, the statues depict their African creators’ traditional close bond to nature and the environment."(link)

I found the interplay between smooth and rough fascinating,
as in this stone block carved as a hen with chicks.
Two stone giraffes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice pics!!!
The use of bronze, brass and other metalwork, as well as the incorporation of terracotta, ivory and other embellishments were attributed to go back as far as 10th century AD, and usually reserved for royalty. African art forms that were not statues or figurines were still meant to be three-dimensional pieces. The creation of African Masks dates way back into history and some have been know to have been created further back in time than the Paleolithic era.