Rose Chakanyuka was born in Zimbabwe and is a member of the current generation of Shona stone sculptors. Still, one of the few women artists currently sculpting in Zimbabwe, her natural artistic sensibilites, courage and tenacity have allowed her to add her female voice alongside that of the better known male sculptors.
She exhibted a unique talent for art at an early age and with the encouragement of her teachers, she seemed to find her calling. Soon after leaving school, she embarked on her vocation which speaks profoundly about her passion and dedication to the art form. After learning the basic techniques of stone carving, Chakanyuka continues to explore different techniques and possibilities inherent in the medium. Today, she continues to work alongside many of the major artists of the movement in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, which is the major center of art in the country.
She is recognized for setting the highest standards in her work. She carves her forms mainly from pure inspiration and what she derives from her Shona heritage. She brings to each work a strict professionalism and refuses to give less than all her energy to a sculpture. Each new work is regarded by her as an exercise to increase her thought process and improve upon her technique.
Drawing on her strong beliefs in family and tradition, her works clearly show the inspiration that she receives in every day life. Chakanyuka’s works are soft, sensitive, family forms; and she is among the best of those interpreting this genre. While this form of abstraction is shared by other Shona sculptures, the style and emotional component of Chakanyuka’s works make them distinctly her own. Choosing to work mainly with hard stone such as spring stone, her themes of family tenderness, love, and unity are portrayed with tenderness and understanding.
York's Shona Gallery is proud to present Chakanyuka’s "Hippo." Click below for more information.