From the very first time I saw one of these stone sculptures in Zimbabwe I was fascinated and hooked, and wanted to know more. I knew I could never afford to buy one of them, so made a determined effort to visit the original Chapungu in Harare, Zimbabwe, and to attend any special exhibitions that toured anywhere close to us.
Over the years I’ve written about these sculptures and exhibitions a number of times (see here for a collection of articles, http://www.viviennemackie.com/Chapungu/Chapungu.html ).
So I was delighted to see some of these eye-catching sculptures at Blaauwklippen wine estate during our visit to the Cape area in South Africa recently.
Art Creations Africa has a Sculpture Garden and Gallery in Somerset West (43 Almond Drive, Helderberg Estate, www.artcreationsafrica.com ), and is one of southern Africa’s largest exhibitors and exporters of the famous Zimbabwe stone work. Blaauwklippen is currently “hosting” a number of these wonderful stone sculptures. They are dotted around the estate, especially near the Wine Tasting Room. All are for sale, so I wonder how many are bought?
It’s really nice to see them displayed in this lovely setting, with expansive green lawns and enormous old fig trees, but also sad in a way because they are not in their “real” or “rightful” setting any more due to the political and economic turmoil in Zimbabwe. They are great wherever they are displayed because they are inherently great and beautiful, but also seem a little out of place here to me, having seen them displayed at Chapungu in Harare, Zimbabwe, in a beautiful garden setting. I wonder how many people who see them here, and I’m sure admire them, really know what they are, what the history and background of this movement is? I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter, so long as they are admired and perhaps inspire some discussion, so the legacy of this stone work can continue.