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Wood Carving by Boniface Chikwenhere
30 January 2010
Boniface Chikwenhere has become a popular feature of the Country Craft Market and on 30 January 2010, using his well-exercises talents, he plans to award some lucky visitor with an unusual gift. Indeed, Boniface will be presenting the demonstration at the next market and has offered to sculpt the driftwood offering of some visitor into a Boniface original.
In order to facilitate this, Boniface is requesting that those who have pieces of driftwood they would like to have transformed to allow the inner artwork hidden within to emerge, bring them to the market as early as possible on 30 January. From the pieces received, he will select one that he will use in his demonstration, to sculpt a Taku-Tenda Driftwood Creation.
It has become a characteristic of the market, that visitors and fellow crafters alike make early calls at Boniface's stall to see what wonders he has conjured up since the previous market. His work has special appeal to overseas visitors who correctly find in it, the epitome of Africa.
Working with driftwood as his raw material, Boniface sculpts enticing abstract forms that incorporate the natural weathering of the wood into the suggested image. Like all abstract artists, Boniface expects the viewer to become involved in his sculptures, that just hint at what they represent, leaving much space for the viewer to seek his or her own additional or alternative meanings and viewpoints.
"Living with art positively requires some effort", he claims, "but at the end of the day the effort is well rewarded! Art taps into our emotions, deepens our humanity and makes us more aware of our surrounding environment", Boniface adds.
"Driftwood creations in abstract form demands mastery of a unique art, giving life to dead wood. It has become a passion for me because each bit of wood I use has an emotion or vision it wishes to express. It is my task, working with that piece of wood, to find and reveal that inner secret. Forcing my own will, story or theme upon the wood leads to disappointed, so a subtle interaction is required between artist, raw material and final artwork."
"I do not try to transform the wood, just release its hidden emotions. And in the wood I find pain, ululation, suffering, cheering, lovers, the hunter and the hunted, caring mothers, abused women, and many other expressions of life in Africa."
"My driftwood art in abstract is in fact a basic form of human expression, a natural part of life that encompasses the social, economic and political achievements and struggles of the modern society that we can neither ignore nor run away from. I am inspired by air, marine and land flora and fauna, and of course also the human form."
While Boniface finds his raw material in nature's recycle bin, he is well aware of the responsibility he has to nature as he works to complete what relentless and powerful natural elements have started. He admits that often it takes him a long time to understand what image in hidden in the raw driftwood. However, he has learned to trust both instinct and imagination, and depends on his skill to turn thoughts into a final result.
Boniface is 28 years old and hails from Zimbabwe. Carving is in his blood as he was born into a family that has been practising the skill of carving for many generations. But while he did not take to the craft as a child, the seeds planted by his elders did eventually grow and he now find himself engrossed in this art form.
This is certain to be a popular demonstration, so whether you hope to be the lucky one to have Boniface work on your piece of driftwood, or would like to see him at work, be sure to visit his stall. Do not miss this demonstration on 30 January and afterwards, a stroll around all the other interesting stalls will simply add to good morning's fun.
See my other demonstration report
Last Updated 02 November 2017 12:47