Moses Nyanhongo was born in 1981 into a family dynasty of stone sculptors from the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Sculpting is a family tradition that’s been passed down through generations, begun by Moses’ father Claude in the 1950s.
Newsweek called the Shona Sculpture Movement one of the most important art forms to come out of Africa in the 20th century. Some of the Nyanhongo siblings are represented by Gallery Sur in Carmel.
Moses and Agnes are flying in for a special exhibition and demo this weekend called Stone Reflections, to raise money to build a school for the Maulana School for Orphans in the township of Epworth outside Harare, Zimbabwe.
Moses sculpts people in an expressionistic outpouring of graceful poses. He highlights contrasts – rough and smooth, light and dark. He chooses springstone, cobalt or brown serpentine as his medium. He uses mostly manual tools: chisels, hammer, brush and sandpaper.
He grew up in the rural Nyanga part of Zimbabwe and found inspiration in the forest and mountains.
“It depends on what time of day you are looking,” he says. “They can give you the shape of an animal or human form.”
Which can then be transplanted across the world to a place like Carmel.
STONE REFLECTIONS happens 11am-2pm Sat-Sun, Aug. 13-14, at Gallery Sur (reception), Sixth between Dolores and Lincoln, and Church of the Wayfarer (demo), Lincoln and Seventh, Carmel. Free. 626-2615, www.GallerySur.com