Stone Sculpture - 'Rising Phoenix'
Rising Phoenix by Witness Bonjisi
Stands about 46 inches high and 34 inches wide
Price includes local delivery and installation with 100 miles of Sedona
Stone is Cobalt, mined in Zimbabwe, Africa and imported to the USA
"Shona sculpture is perhaps the most important new art form to emerge from Africa in this century". New York
Zimbabwean stone sculpture is a singular phenomenon in the context of African art. It is impossible to compare it with art from any other African country. Much of this style’s singularity rests in its history and environment.
In 1965 the first exhibition of Shona Stone Sculpture abroad was held. In 1968 pieces were put on display at an exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art. International recognition came with the special exhibition at the MuséeRodin in Paris. The subjects shown in these early works were unquestionably African.
The frequently anthropomorphic figures symbolized the belief in the original union of man and animal.
The most important artists developed their own distinctive styles over the years. For example:
- Henry Munyaradzi’s minimalist representation of the human head reminds us of Paul Klee.
- Nicholas Mukomberanwa’s work reveals Cubist influences.
- John Takawira’s style revolves around an expressive dissolution of contours.
The exhibitions at the National Gallery, which displayed pieces by Pablo Picasso, Roger Moore and other European modernists as well as ethnic African art, must have influenced the artists.
The symbolism of the Phoenix, like the mystical bird itself, dies and is reborn across cultures and throughout time.
Ancient legend paints a picture of a magical bird, radiant and shimmering, which lives for several hundred years before it dies by bursting into flames. It is then reborn from the ashes, to start a new, long life. So powerful is the symbolism that it is a motif and image that is still used commonly today in popular culture and folklore.
The legendary phoenix is a large, grand bird, much like an eagle or peacock. It is brilliantly colored in reds, purples, and yellows, as it is associated with the rising sun and fire. Sometimes a nimbus will surround it, illuminating it in the sky. Its eyes are blue and shine like sapphires. It builds its own funeral pyre or nest, and ignites it with a single clap of its wings. After death it rises gloriously from the ashes and flies away.
The Phoenix symbolizes renewal and resurrection, and many themes such as “the sun, time, the empire, metempsychosis, consecration, resurrection, life in the heavenly Paradise, Christ, Mary, virginity, the exceptional man”.