Edward Ndoro

A short story about Edward Ndoro and Where the artwork comes from

By Andre@Xpo-Artz

Edward Ndoro was born on the 15th June, 1973 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He was raised in a family of talented sculptors and appears to be destined to carry on the family tradition. The creative influence that his Father and Brother encouraged, gave him the confidence to develop a strong technical talent at an early age.

Since then, Edward’s childhood passion and talent has been realized and rewarded. 

The confidence Edward displays with his tools, can be seen in the powerful beauty of his stoic Verdite busts. It is this mastery of the craft that has established Edward to be a young and distinguished representational sculptor. His work can be seen internationally throughout Zimbabwe, Canada, South Africa, USA, Singapore, UK and Germany. He is considered to be one of the best realist sculptors in Zimbabwe. 

Edward currently lives in Harare with his family. He works with his peers Lazarus Tandi and Rutendo Dodzo, and is working towards sharing his knowledge with other young talented sculptures through becoming a teacher. 

Select pieces can be found in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Rodin Museum in Paris, and the London Museum of Contemporary Art. Newsweek called Shona sculpture “the most important new art form to emerge from Africa in the last hundred years,” while the Economist proclaimed Shona sculptors to be the “world’s best unknown artists.”

The first and most important step sculptors take is choosing their stone. The most popular stones used are brown, green and black serpentine, springstone, opal, verdite, leopard rock, rapoko and red jasper. Only after seeing the shape, color and size of the stone will the artist decide on the subject he will sculpt. The artist shapes the stone using a hammer, chisel, knife and rasp. The stones are finished by hand with wet sand paper and than are heated mainly with a gas flame so the polish will be easily absorbed, resulting in a long lasting finish. A white wax furniture polish or beeswax is applied immediately while the piece is still hot. Once cooled, it is shined with a soft cloth.

Zimbabwe stone sculpture first began to emerge in the early sixties. Artists and small workshops of artists were encouraged by the then director of the National Art Gallery in Zimbabwe. The critics were amazed at how the indigenous people took to this art form and by the themes and ideas that inspired each piece.

The sculptors soon discovered the wealth of the stones to be found in Zimbabwe’s Great Dyke and moved onto harder, more difficult but more beautiful material. Out of these beginnings have risen some of the most famous names in African art history such as Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Henry Munyaradzi, Joram Mariga and many more. We are now coming up into the second and even third generation of artists from this era, and with this we see more than ever the great diversity of impressions and materials used.

When sculpting rather than using sketches, the artist follows the form of the stone allowing the stone itself to dictate what subject lies within. It is a marvel to see an artist take a lifeless mass of rock, with its pale, jagged surface and mold it with their hands, mind and heart into a smooth, polished, brilliant work of art. Because of their strong ties to family and tribe, the Shona depict relationships between families and couples, both human and in the animal kingdom. In the last few decades Shona sculpture has blossomed into an internationally acclaimed hallmark of contemporary African art developing its unique style and spirituality. 

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