Tsoko Gallery adds tang to Harare



Monica-Cheru-Mpambawashe : Lifestyle Editor

New life has been breathed into Doon Estate, Harare’s esteemed home of visual arts with the entrance on the scene of a new gallery, Tsoko. The gallery was launched last weekend at an evening function where wood and charcoal heaters fashioned from old washing machine spinners provided much needed heat to ward of the chill.The gallery was officially opened by the ambassador of Germany to Zimbabwe Mr Hans-Günter Gnodtke who opened his speech with a telling joke:

“I am glad that I am not here to talk about Brexit tonight,” quipped the ambassador.

He spoke about how arts are an important part of a society. The launch was supported by the European Union through the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe.

Gallery curator Kathy Prescott–Schneerberger says that Tsoko will be different from all other galleries in Harare as it is looking at supporting deserving artists in mixed media who are not shown in any of the other galleries.

Home decor

Home decor

She says Tsoko will provide a chance for people who have not considered themselves art afficionados to get up close and personal with not only the arts but the artists themselves.

“The gallery will be educational. Artists will go around with patrons to explain their pieces. We want the young middle class to be comfortable in this space.”

She also said that people can look forward to variety and change in the newest gallery in town.

“We will be moving straight from one exhibition into the next. Each exhibition will run for between six and eight weeks.

“I can tell you right now that our next exhibition will be run by an amazing young and dynamic curator with some new and exciting ideas,” said Prescott –Schneerberger.

Tsoko Gallery announced its birth with an exhibition titled “Own Your Rubbish” which gave attendees a chance to think about their waste and its effects on the planet:

“The Own Your Rubbish Project was born from a need to prompt and educate people to take the importance of environmental awareness seriously, and to take steps to reduce our impact on the planet by seeing our personal in how we live.

“It also focuses on enhancing the livelihoods of the community groups and artists working on the in the ‘medium’ of rubbish,” read a poster right at the beginning of the displays.

“I am shocked at the amount of garbage that a family discards. Those pictures of the families with their garbage are disturbing. It really gets you thinking about what we value as people,” said Tina one of the dozens of people who attended the launch.

She was referring to images of Zimbabwean families from different demographic groups who were asked to pose with all the rubbish that they had collected over two weeks. The concept was adapted from an idea from an American photographer.

Also on display were objects made from rubbish by different talented artists including lovely and colourful Transformer like toys made from discarded packaging including yoghurt cups.

There were also some quite chic bags and delightful glasses made from beer empties upended on their own cut off bottoms.

Perhaps the biggest plus factor for the exhibition was the recycling of rubbish into attractive but useful pieces. About 75 percent of the items on display were of practical everyday use.

Doon Estate was founded over 20 years ago in Msasa and became the place to go for visitors to Harare who wanted to acquire genuine pieces of arts. For many locals Doon Estate was the place to pick unexpected treasures like some books as well as things like honey and home made jam during the monthly fair.

It played an important part is promoting Shona Sculpture to the world through its Chapungu Village and Sculpture Park.

The other galleries on site offer items like cotton linen, jewellery and decor pieces.


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