WATCH: Exhibition fuses creativity and climate change Artist picks materials at Ngozi Mine

Mbulelo Mpofu, [email protected] 

THE National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Bulawayo, a local haven for art enthusiasts, has opened its doors to a captivating four-week exhibition that marries art and the urgent issue of climate change. 

The exhibition, titled “Black the New Green: Art and Climate Change,” sets out to challenge our perception of the future and is thoughtfully curated by talented artist, Fisani Nkomo.

Fisani Nkomo

In an interview, Nkomo talked about the dire consequences of human negligence on the environment. From electronic waste to plastics, metal waste, and sound pollution, these environmental hazards are wreaking havoc on the planet, affecting not only humans but also animals and vegetation. The alarming truth is that human actions are contributing to climate change, a fact that “Black the New Green” artfully explores.

The very title of the exhibition, “Black the New Green,” poses a question: Has black become the new symbol of pollution due to our careless actions? In a world where technological advancements often come at the expense of our environment, Nkomo challenges people to heed Mother Earth’s warnings and question our own role in this crisis.

A visit to this gallery is a profound experience, revealing a diverse array of artworks that convey powerful messages. “Chironda” by Mercy Moyo portrays our wounded and degraded Earth in the Intensive Care Unit, crying out for salvation. “Melting Pot” evokes the scorching heat, symbolised by an exhaust pipe with a kettle, two bells, and a headboard lamp cover. “What’s next?” by Nkomo prompts us to contemplate the future of our planet in the face of ozone-layer depletion.

This collective exhibition brings together the talents of eleven contemporary artists, including Angeline Mhuka, Arlington Muzondo, Danisile Ncube, Dumisani Ndlovu, Fisani Nkomo, Kudzai Chikomo, Mavis Ndlovu, Mercy Moyo, Oubrey Bango, Owen Maseko and Zandile Vanessa Masuku. 

Their work encompasses sculpture, installation, video art, and performance art, making it a multi-dimensional exploration of environmental degradation and climate change.

But the exhibition is not just about art; it’s a call to action. It challenges policymakers and individuals from all walks of life to take a stand. What better way to raise awareness about the perils of improper waste disposal than to use waste materials itself? These environmental champions scoured Ngozi Mine in a 70’s Land Rover, collecting materials for their thought-provoking creations.

Coming in from the cold

Nkomo expressed gratitude to the partners who made the exhibition possible.

“We partnered with various organisations and institutions such as Amagugu International Heritage Centre, Lupane State University, Lupane Veggies, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Green Zimbabwe, Green Hut, Good Deeds, Wezesha, Ukuna Environmental Trust, and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in programming side events to go with this exhibition in articulating and addressing issues around environmental climate change,” he said.

Melting Pot

There will be workshops for selected schools on recycling and up-cycling, public lectures on the future of food, spirituality and conservation, the role and importance of art education, discussions, and a conversation with the exhibiting artists. —@MbuleloMpofu

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