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Chemedu JemaliShona Chief
"Shona Chief" is an original serpentine sculpture signed by the artist Chemedu Jemali. This sculptor works in the Shona tradition of Zimbabwe. The sculpture depicts an abstracted head of a man and weighs 95 lbs. The signature is on the back. 25" x 12" x 10" sculpture 95 lbs. Chemedu Jemali was born on March 3, 1971 in Harare where he did his primary education. He and his family then moved to the Shamva township where he completed high school. His family is originally from Malawi and their totem is of the Miranzi (mouse). He started sculpting in 1990. He was taught to sculpt by his brother Chituwa Jemali. He has three brothers and one sister. In the early 1990's, Chemedu took an interest in carving, inspired by the success of his older brother, Chituwa, and became an established carver. Initially, he worked as an apprentice to Chituwa who introduced him to carving the local hard stone such as verdite, springstone, cobalt and lemon opal. His brother, Salim, is also a full time sculptor. Chemedu produces abstract creations of various themes - from spirit birds to stylized busts. He has become a well known artist in the Shona Art Movement in The Netherlands and Germany. In 2002, he held four exhibition workshops in Germany (Rhauderfern, Steinfurt, Stadhuishal Hengelo and Techlenburg) and an exhibition in the Chiefs and Spirit Gallery in Den Haag, Netherlands. All of his sculptures on display were sold. Chemedu is one of the members of Matopos Association. Shona artists and crafts people have been working in different media for generations. These include paintings, pottery, basket ware, wood carvings, and sculpture done in metal as well as the stone carvings. While there is not a long standing tradition of sculpture in what is now Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia), stone carvings dating from the 15th century were seen in Great Zimbabwe, an excavated temple near Bulawayo. Most of the artifacts from this location have been moved to museums in Cape Town, South Africa or London. It is generally agreed that Zimbabwean stone sculpture as seen today began during the late colonial period of the 1950's and 1960's. During this period the artists and artisans depicted many of the traditional Shona and other tribal spiritual myths. Out of all the nations in Africa, the large varieties and abundant supplies of rock formations present throughout the Zimbabwe landscape provide artists with a medium for sculpture and carvings unique to their country. The Shona art sculpture of Zimbabwe combines the wonderful varieties presented by the stone with images drawn both from reality and abstract symbolism. Much of the stone used by Shona artists is quarried in areas which are adjacent or quite near the villages where the work is created. Often the land on which the stone is found is owned by the village or the local artists. The artists use stone such as Serpentine (somewhat old, having been formed about 2.6 billion years ago), with more than 200 color variations. The hardest and darkest of the Serpentine varieties is black, commonly known as Springstone or Africa stone. The wonderful natural character of stone is used both in its rough cut and textured state, or heated and burnished to a high gloss to reveal rich greens, browns, blacks and grays. The hardness, shape, density and quantity used of serpentine, verdite, sandstone, granite, steatite and other stones define the ultimate presentation of completed Shona art sculptures and carvings.
- ArtistChemedu Jemali (1971, Shona Zimbabwean)
- Creation Year2002
- DimensionsH 25 in. x W 12 in. x D 10 in.H 63.5 cm x W 30.48 cm x D 25.4 cm
- Gallery LocationMilwaukee, WI
- Reference NumberLU60532195273
- Seller Reference Number11442g
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