Chairperson Mrs Cynthia Zukas's Speech at the Opening of Art Lives On - II
Welcome All. I see many friends of Lechwe Trust here, but for the newcomers, I’ll give a very brief history of the Trust. We were founded in 1986 with the aim of supporting the visual arts in Zambia, art education, and Zambia’s cultural heritage.
The Trust has provided scholarships and grants to assist talented artists further their art education. We have supported institutions such as the Visual Arts Council, local museums,
Evelyn Hone College, Zambian Open University and others, including art workshops.
We have also built up a permanent collection of contemporary Zambian art, dating from before independence to the present. (Until we got this wonderful gallery space, we displayed a selection of the artworks in various venues.) We have a collection of about 400 pieces, thanks in part to many generous donations.
Now I would like to tell you the story behind the strange title for this current show. About ten years ago, Lechwe Trust committee was saddened to hear of the deaths of six of our most talented artists within a short space of time. We decided – in cooperation with Visual Arts Council – to put on a retrospective exhibition, with works for sale, proceeds to benefit the bereaved families. The exhibition was called Art Lives On, and it was a great success.
Yet again we have lost two of our most talented and important artists, and the Lechwe Trust committee decided to honour them with a retrospective called Art Lives On – ii.
Unlike our usual shows, this one has a double purpose: firstly to honour Lutanda and Flinto and to give the public a chance to admire their work; and secondly, and most importantly, to display works, which will be for sale, from the estates of the two artists. These sales will support the families and their children’s education.
As well as works from our own Lechwe collection, we have received loans of sculptures from private collectors, and these works are NOT for sale. However: all sculptures, prints, and paintings which ARE for sale are clearly marked.
A few personal comments about the artists and their work.
Lutanda was a master printmaker, as well as a painter. As a printmaker myself, I have been overwhelmed by his technical skill, his variety of subjects, and his continual experimenting with new printing techniques. Flinto’s sculpture is also amazing and, thanks to some generous loans, particularly from the Sardanis family, you can trace Flinto’s development from very early wooden sculpture to his very last stonework.
Last but not least, a few ‘thank yous’.
Firstly, my own team – the executive committee, William Bwalya Miko and Shenda Zukas; and Nikki Ashley in the office. The gallery staff under curator Alex Nkazi, and their team of helpers. Lee-Anne Singh and Image Promotions. Also, the art collectors who have trusted us with their precious artworks; and the families of Flinto and Lutanda, who have been so helpful and cooperative. Finally, an extra ‘thank you’ to William Miko who undertook the role of consultant curator.
A Review of Art Lives On II
The Lechwe Trust Art Gallery is off Lagos Road in Lusaka’s Rhodes Park area. Late for work one hot day in November I’d made a fleeting pass through Gallery Office Park for a quick lunch. That’s my lame excuse for just an appreciative glance through the art gallery’s glass doors. But, in early January a more perceptive friend suggested a proper visit and I got my undeserved second chance.
There is no “been there, done that” feature of the current exhibition. Over 150 artworks* fill the comfortable space. These are dominated by sculpture, painting in other medium and the prints of two talented Zambian artists. The only two larger than life portraits done by another artist simply serve to introduce the two masters who have left behind their works, the late Flinto Chandia and Lutanda Mwamba.
Flinto’s marble pieces are cast in various hues, from the creamy speckled ‘nest’ to the blacks and blues of the ‘amatebeto’ sculptures.
Many of Lutanda’s untitled works speak to their posthumous rescue from the artist’s work spaces. Print after print reflects the mastery of Lutanda’s expert printmaking. He moves seemingly effortlessly between linocut, serigraph and woodcut prints. ‘Message Man’ is consigned from the artist’s family estate.
Private art collectors have shared marble and wood sculptures with Lechwe Trust from their own collections extending the life span of the two artists’ artworks. We are pointedly conscious of the cooperation of the artists’ families to this fine display.
My companions and I wandered from one end to the other, often coming back to re look at a piece that had captured our attention in a special way. Personally, I reflect that these men are my contemporaries. The one a little older when he passed away, the other more than a decade younger leave one in wonder at the gifts they have left behind. Lutanda’s exquisite colour and black and white prints seem to me to capture the hopes and fears of our time. While Flinto’s carefully carved free standing abstracts are solid assurance that life has to go on.
A visit to the gallery before the exhibit closes at the end of February 2020 is an opportunity not to miss. Lechwe Trust’s art collection, other collectors and the artists’ families have presented a fascinating collection whose proceeds from selected artwork on sale will benefit the families they have left behind.
Chuundu Malele (Zambian Art Lover) 3 January 2020
For Sale: 26
Loaned Prints: 3
For Sale Prints: 59
Loaned Paintings: 2
For sale Paintings: 41
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.
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.
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
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:
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 Zukas MBE 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
“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.”
2016 – exhibition of artworks donated by Royal Norwegian Embassy, Lusaka
2015/6 – exhibition and display of Lechwe Trust artworks in the atrium of the U.S. Embassy, Lusaka
2013 – exhibition of artworks donated to Lechwe Trust by Royal Netherlands Embassy, Lusaka
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