A Special Sculpture gift from one of our Youths

27 May 2016

Sculpture’s Appreciative Essay
By Ngonidzashe Mwanjira – 20 years old

Mrs. Tiafora Ngwenya Family Care Coordinator Bindura holding her special gift

A brief Visual Description of the Sculpture
The “Mother’s Head” sculpture (23 -26 Dec. 2020) by Ngonidzashe Mwanjira is carved out of the Green Opal stone from Chiweshe (rural town in Zimbabwe). Generally the sculpture is a Expressionist portrait in stone. It is the depiction of a head with its basic features, except for the ears (for a symbolic reason irrelevant for this article), which are stylistically distorted along with a neck longer than usual for a human figure.  The artefact is basically of a variety of shades of green and random stains of white for its colour appearance, inherited from the nature of the stone. Upon looking at the sculpture, you will see that the green portrait is very abstract in nature of form with accentuated eyes and distorted characteristics.

Symbolism of the Sculpture
The appearance of the sculpture is composed the same way one might compose a poem. The components of the sculpture, from both an idiosyncratic and compound perspective of analysis, are the way they are to communicate a symbolic meaning that helps an observer to read the sculpture.

The “Mother’s Head” sculpture was made for Mrs. Ngwenya the current Family Care Coordinator for the SOS Children’s Villages Bindura, in other words she is the “HEAD” of the home (CV). Therefore there is a double-entendre where “HEAD”, in the title of the sculpture, is used in terms of semiotics to imply an icon and metaphorically to imply the leadership role of the mother.

The sculpture’s components such as the protruding eyes, curved nose, the tilt of the sculpture, and exaggerated lips are stylistic and compositional tools to construct a eulogy for the traits of a mother from a naturalistic stand point. The eyes stand for the observant nature of the mother towards her children, where in this case their accentuation is to emphasize the idea that it is fairly a vital trait, for by watching her children, the mother has the full management and awareness of their interaction with the environment, where the environment can be a source of harm. The emphasis of the eyes also relate to the immensity of responsibilities at hand. The nose is curved to imply a sense of dynamics. It symbolises the obligation for the mother to “Stick her Nose” into her offspring’s endeavours in a versatile manner since the children in this case are multitudinous. The justification for this behaviour is obvious and need not be mentioned. The lips are designed to impose an undeniable beauty into the sculpture for the purpose of praising the beauty of the mother which a child positively ululates. They are also beautifully carved to show the beautiful helpful speech of a mother. The tilt or elevation of the sculpture is so as to imply the idea that the “Mother’s Head” is bowing slightly so as to express the unfathomable humility of a mother and her perpetual sense of humbleness. Simultaneously this tilt is to elevate the head on a higher platform so as to make her seem like she is looking down upon her audience.  This is a metaphor of the respect a mother, who also happens to be the head of a home like SOS Children’s Villages Bindura, is averred to receive by giving her a higher platform just like a gold medallist in sports. The length of the neck is a compliment of the aesthetic concept behind the lips. It is also a  historical reference to the painting, “Madonna with the long neck” (from the years 1534-1540) by the European Artist, Parmigianino, where the painter depicts Madonna surrounded by several figures of children, looking elegant and sophisticated with her graceful features to depict the nature of the mother she is. All these symbols, poetically and artistically applied, converge to compose a eulogy for The Family Care Coordinator Mrs. Ngwenya the gracious mother for SOS Children’s Villages Bindura.

Apart from the message to be conveyed by the sculpture it is nevertheless an agent of aesthetic pleasure, an artefact that is also made to be simply enjoyed for its visual appeal. 

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