Gareth Nyandoro: Paper Cut

Tiwani Contemporary, London, United Kingdom
19 Feb 2016 - 19 Mar 2016

Gareth Nyandoro: Paper Cut

Kuguruguda Stambo, 2015, Courtesy: Artist

Nyandoro is known for his large works on paper, which often spill out of their two-dimensional frame and into installations, and often include scraps and found objects taken directly from the markets of Harare, where he is based.

The main source of inspiration for Nyandoro’s work is the local markets of Harare, with their buzzing stalls, loud hawkers, frenzied buyers and enticing displays of goods. A keen observer of human behaviour, Nyandoro recognises the everyday artistry involved in the displays, where colour, shape, desirability and price all contribute to the competition for the most attractive – and best selling stall.

Nyandoro’s interest in objects and everyday commerce translates into the manifest materiality of his work, but also in its iconography, as he closes in on details from the market place: a single shoe here, a hanging shirt, a lot of designer sunglasses, a lollipop. Nyandoro prepares the various elements of his compositions separately, before assembling them together on large sheets of canvas. The result is a collaged aesthetic, suggesting the makeshift aesthetics of the market. The work is at times abstract, with human figures barely visible, suggested only by grids of inked scratches and checkered, geometric patterns: a reflection on the ephemeral, transitional nature of the marketplace and its main actors, rendered through portrayals of everyday experience.

The artist’s unique technique was inspired by his training as a printmaker. Upon preparing an etching, Nyandoro realized he was equally  interested in the engraved copper plate as he was in the print. He thus developed a distinctive working method, derived from etching: using sharp blades, he cut-draws into large pieces of paper and sponges ink onto its surface before removing the top layer of paper with tape. Only ink that is trapped within the deep, sharp paper cuts remains visible, along with coils of scrap paper, which Nyandoro often collages onto the work, or leaves sprinkled on the floor as clues to suggest his labour intensive, precise work. Nyandoro has named his technique “Kucheka cheka”, after the Shona verb cheka, which means ‘to cut’.

About Gareth Nyandoro

Gareth Nyandoro was born in 1982 in Bikita, Zimbabwe and currently lives and works in Harare. He studied Fine Art at the Harare Polytechnic College and the Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe. Nyandoro was a resident artist at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam (2014 – 2015) and represented Zimbabwe at the 56th Venice Biennale. Recent exhibitions include Trek: Following Journeys at smac gallery, Cape Town, 2015 and Mutariri at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 2013. In 2016 Nyandoro’s work will be exhibited at Modern Art Oxford, as part of KALEIDOSCOPE, a year-long series of interlinking exhibitions, performances and events, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the gallery.

Tiwani Contemporary works in collaboration with the Centre for Contemporary Art, Lagos (CCA, Lagos) on both its exhibition and public programmes.


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