“Beautiful ones are not yet born to me. It’s not just [me who is] the beautiful one.”
So this extraordinary sculpture represents a beautiful woman thinking about the children she will have one day, and thinking they will be beautiful too. The babies will inherit her ‘good genes’ and they are sure to be beautiful too. Her thought is that beauty isn’t just for one generation but runs in families, it is inherited by the children from their parents.
Of course, the sculpture itself might also become something that’s inherited! Another beautiful thing being passed down from one generation to the next.
Exceptional work here from Rufaro, once winner and four-times nominee for the national sculpture prize, as he continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in Zimbabwean sculpture. This is the first time Guruve has shown a sculpture made from petrified wood, and a quick search on the internet suggests it’s a rarity worldwide.
The organic material of the timber has fossilised into petrified wood over a vast timescale. This process involves the replacement of the vegetable matter with various minerals, and it’s this that gives petrified wood its fascinating colours as well as making it extremely hard. Like red jasper, another recent addition to the stones used by Zimbabwean sculptors, petrified wood is so hard that it can’t be worked by hand. Only power tools can be used, and this makes it a time-consuming and expensive material to sculpt – but worth it for the amazing results!