Like any piece of true art it is complex, intriguing, packed with meaning and never gives an easy answer. The work of Zacharaha Magasa screams testimony to this notion. As one walks through the gallery to view his work on display one if filled with a sense of wonder and also awe when viewing his sculptures.
Magasa is a Zimbabwean artist whose parents are immigrants from Malawi and Mozambique. He has had exhibitions across the world including South Africa, Thailand, Germany and Zimbabwe to mention only a few. The issue of migration and travel is important to Magasa. As I stole a few minutes of his time he told me that he was a bit nervous about the exhibition! Magasa then told me that all of the pieces are made from used tyres. The reason for this was because to him tyres symbolise resilience. A simple tyre is used by any vehicle to move from place to place but people often do not notice that it also experiences wear and tear during that process. To Magasa the tyre is also a symbol of migration; migration is an important subject to him being the child of immigrants and having spent six years living in South Africa.
‘Afamba apota’ which loosely translates to ‘a path taken without a known goal’ is a body of work is a synthesis of Magasa’s life experiences and meditations on addressing the complexity of life journeys.
All of the pieces are made from rubber tyres and are shaped according to the artist’s vision each one carrying its own interpretation on the topic of travel. The titles of the pieces range from ‘Mubvakure’, ‘Kupona nepaburi retsono’ and ‘Boterekwa’. One can see the hard work that went into making the pieces. The exhibit is made up of thirteen pieces spread out across the cosy gallery. It is worth noting that the pieces were made in two months.
The exhibit is being curated by Valerie Kabov and is up until the 24th of September at the First Floor Gallery housed at Karigamombe Centre in Harare. Take some time out to view Magasa’s work and be amazed.