ART LIVES ON

 

Mid-2008 Lechwe Trust learned that families of some highly-respected deceased artists were in financial difficulty. Mrs Zukas MBE, Chairperson of Lechwe Trust thought to raise money by holding an exhibition, at which the artists’ own works still held by the families could be sold. The late artists were: Martin Phiri (1957-1997), Stephen Kappata (1937-2007), Shadreck Simukanga (1955-2004), Trevor Ford (1937-2007), Godfrey Setti (1958-2002) and Friday Tembo (1962-2004).

prep1

The exhibition design team sorting artworks as they are brought in to Henry Tayali Art Centre gallery.

Lechwe Trust committee members and other artists began to prepare for what would become an exceptionally successful exhibition. On 30th November 2008 Zenzele Chulu (above centre) was formally engaged to design and curate the exhibition.

December 2008 dealt with finding the locations of artworks, and writing formal letters to estate representatives. During January 2009 artworks were collected, inspected and photographed.  By the end of February 2009 many activities were in hand, guided by a committee of the Lechwe Trust that met regularly. Invitation cards were designed and printed. Posters were printed and distributed to cultural institutions, restaurants, shopping malls. Information for the catalogue continued to be collected. Artworks were restored and framed by a team from National Arts Council. The Henry Tayali Art Centre Secretariat prepared the gallery. The exhibition was mounted under the guidance of Mr WB Miko, (second left, above) Mr Musabula, Mr Mwansa and members of VAC National Executive Committee. More than 200 visitors arrived for the opening night 4th March 2009. Mr Miko was Master of Ceremonies, Mr Enzio Rossi attended as Visual Arts Council Patron, Mrs Cynthia Zukas represented Lechwe Trust, Mr Mulenga Chafilwa represented Visual Arts Council, and a speech was read on behalf of Hon Chinyanta, Deputy Minister of Community Development and Social Services.

Speech by Mrs Cynthia S Zukas, Chairperson, Lechwe Trust

 

Mrs Z's speech

“Lechwe Trust is proud to be the sole sponsor of this important art exhibition in conjunction with the Zambia National Visual Arts Council which is hosting this special event.  The aim of this exhibition is twofold: to give art lovers a chance to enjoy and purchase works by artists no longer with us; and to benefit the families who will receive the proceeds from the sales.”

"Lechwe Trust is affiliated to VAC and we have always worked closely together on various art projects. We are a charitable trust fostering the development of the visual arts in Zambia and most of the late artists have been closely associated with us, and many of them benefited from grants and scholarships from us.


"On a personal note I have known many of them longer than two decades, from the early days when some of them were still students coming to us for help and advice.
Apart from being talented artists, some of them made major contributions to the development of the visual arts in Zambia in various ways, being active on committees, by their art teaching, or by taking on apprentices to train under their guidance. Many of their protégés are among our top artists today."

During the course of the exhibition more than US$18,000 was raised and distributed to the families of the deceased artists. Works sold at the exhibition included:

     

After Harvest

Friday Tembo, After Harvest, marble and iron rod

       

NR Police

Stephen Kappata, Northern Rhodesia Police on Parade, oil on canvas

     

Shadreck Simukanga, Future Engineers, acrylic on canvas

       

the hour

Trevor Ford (as Yuss), The Hour, pencil on paper

     

Accordian player

Martin Phiri, Accordian Player, scrap metal

       

set for the day

Godfrey Setti, Set for the Day, mixed media

 


THE LECHWE TRUST COLLECTION OF CONTEMPORARY ZAMBIAN ART

EXHIBITION 2010

“Extract from “Hole in the Wall” by Andrew Mulenga, Weekend Post, 28th May, 2010

Whenever the Lechwe Trust collection has been given mention in this column, the article often closes with a gloomy ending, gloominess figuratively borrowed from the dimness inside the 20-foot freight container which this commendable body of about 250 works of Zambian contemporary art usually calls home.

But recent developments with regards the collection are cause for excitement amongst art lovers.

The entire collection has been showing for a longer period than it ever has at the Lusaka National Museum, having been on display since last month due, of course, to popular demand and a particular request from museum management.

new

Credit: Lechwe Trust

Exhibition Curator, William Bwalya Miko (left) escorts visitors around the exhibition.

Another exciting development is the sheer way in which as an exhibition, the collection has once again transformed the museum’s main gallery space this time by means of white, wooden panels on which some of the works are displayed. The wooden panels, or ‘white walls’, divide the space into smaller galleries. These walls also have circular holes carved through them that allow the viewer to have a glimpse of the next gallery.

holes

Credit, Andrew Mulenga

This ‘hole in the wall’ component of the exhibition does bring an all-new feel to the way art is usually presented at the museum.

"I just thought we should do something different this time. And I felt these circular holes [...] help animate the exhibition. As you can see, you can peer through several walls allowing a painting at the far end to draw your attention," explains William Miko, Vice Chairperson of Lechwe Trust and the curator of the show.
[...]
For this year’s exhibition the collection has an updated catalogue which reads like a who’s who of contemporary Zambian artists, featuring brief profiles of living and deceased artists. [...] The publication is an absolute treasure in a country devoid of literature of contemporary art.
Andrew Mulenga can be found at andrewmulenga.blogspot.com

 

2008 – New Acquisitions, Twaya Art-Zambia, Lusaka

2006 – Lechwe Trust collection, Copperbelt Museum, Ndola

2000 – Lechwe Trust collection, Lusaka National Museum

1996 – 'Opening' exhibition of Lusaka National Museum

1993 – Henry Tayali Retrospective, Mpapa Gallery, Lusaka