Amon Mwareka (1950 - 1992)

Amon Mwareka was born in Nyanga, eastern Zimbabwe, in 1950. He was educated at a mission school; as a boy he showed great artistic aptitude, modelling clay and carving wood.

In 1969, he was working in Vukutu in the Eastern Highlands. There he met Frank McEwen, curator of the National Gallery in Salisbury (now Harare). McEwen had set up a workshop school for local artists and it had proved a great success. To remove the artists from (as McEwen felt) unwelcome commercial pressure and protect the ‘purity’ of their work, McEwen set up a sculpture community in Vukutu, hoping the beautiful scenery and isolation would help the artists reconnect with their cultural roots, which McEwen emphasised as the source of true artistic expression. Significant artists who were resident at Vukutu include Sylvester Mubayi and brothers John and Bernard Takawira.

Amon quickly joined the workshop school. His sculptures were first shown in an exhibition at the National Gallery in 1971, and subsequently included in many group exhibitions. Four of Amon’s sculptures were included in the seminal exhibition ‘Sculpture Contemporaine des Shonas d’Afrique’ at the Musée Rodin, Paris, France in 1971.

In 1978, Amon relocated to the capital. He had his first solo exhibition in 1985.

Amon passed away in 1992 at the youthful age of 42.


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