When Guruve discovered a centre in Zimbabwe that had been established primarily to help struggling young artists, full of modern artworks of outstanding quality, it seemed the perfect place for us…
Guruve specialises in Shona sculpture from Zimbabwe, showing talented young artists’ work alongside pieces by the most famous names in the ‘Shona sculpture’ art movement.
We go in person to visit talented young Zimbabwean sculptors, which gives us the opportunity to select and purchase unique and innovative pieces of modern art directly from the artists, so they and their families get the full benefit of their efforts.
Many young artists are based at an Arts Centre project which was founded as an initiative between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Zimbabwe Ministry of Education and Culture and the National Arts Council. It aimed to provide a stable place where young aspiring artists can work. These organisations provided the land and the initial raw materials, but the member artists now control policy and finances. It is a great example of African artists working together and achieving so much more than they could as individuals.
When we first visited the centre in March 2000, it consisted merely of a field bounded by a fence within which each of the forty artists had a space to work and display their sculpture. Income from the purchase of our first shipment made the difference between success and failure for all concerned. Subsequent trips have raised enough money to fund the installation of electricity supply, and construction of an office, some impressive pole and thatch shelters and more.
On each of our visits to the artists at the Centre, we have given back in kind as well as bringing much-needed income. Our donations include:
- a central pole-and-thatch gallery space for exhibitions in 2003
- a project to rebuild the central gallery space in 2015
- hundreds of pounds’ worth of specialist stone-working tools;
- over 40 tonnes of raw stone;
- sponsorship of an exhibition, providing tools and cash as prizes for the 3 winners of each of the 4 categories;
- over 1,000 sheets of high quality sandpaper for finishing sculptures;
- over 40 litres of wax for polishing the sculptures
- we designed and built a steel frame for lifting large raw stones and for loading crates into trucks or containers
We pride ourselves on doing business the way it should be done – with mutual respect and friendship. We have made many friends in Zimbabwe and are now fulfilling our promise to the artists to promote them and their work internationally.