Newman Chikuni was born in Chegutu (west of Salisbury, now Harare), Zimbabwe in 1956. As a child, his favourite pastimes were clay modelling and woodcarving. After school, he had a succession of jobs, including being a lorry driver. From 1987 to 2007, he pursued the career to which he is naturally suited, creative art. Albert Mamvura, a famous ‘first generation’ Zimbabwean sculptor, inspired and influenced him greatly.
Newman is well-known and highly respected among the contemporary sculpture community. His work has been featured in many major exhibitions, including at the National Gallery in Harare. Recent group exhibitions include:
- Matombo Gallery, Salzburg, Austria (2005, 2006)
- Guruve exhibition, London, UK (2002, 2003) and Hertfordshire (2007, 2008)
Newman’s work has a powerful yet simple style, and he only uses the hardest stones such as springstone and leopard rock to achieve the perfect definition and finish. We admire his work tremendously, and consider him to be one of Zimbabwe’s greatest living sculptors.
In response to harsh economic conditions, Newman returned to Chegutu in 2008 to become a farmer, and is making a successful living as part of ZANU’s policy of returning farmland to black Zimbabweans. We hope Newman will continue to find time to sculpt as well, as it would be a great shame to lose this tremendous talent.
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