Alumni Update: Gareth Nyandoro

Alumni Update: Gareth Nyandoro

Just six months following his residency at G.A.S. Foundation, Gareth Nyandoro has launched a solo exhibition at Tiwani Contemporary, titled Pfumvudza. The exhibition presents Nyandoro's personal engagement with the concept of pfumvudza. The Shona word meaning early shoots, also doubles as the name of the 2020 Zimbabwean government-sanctioned programme funded by the UN, advocating citizen self-sufficiency, to help mobilize, train and support families and small crop growers to implement conservation agriculture to restore, and renew the fertility of soil, to grow plots of maize, millet, and wheat to mitigate food insecurity and the decline of large-scale industrial production.


Install shot, Pfumvudza, 2024. Image courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary.


Living in Ruwa, a town just 30 minutes from Harare, Nyandoro observes and documents its residents' daily lives and informal entrepreneurship. His work encompasses a range of small to large-scale mixed-media drawings and installations, all rendered in his distinctive kuchecka-cheka style, which draws from techniques such as etching, paper-cutting, assemblage, and props. Amid challenges like energy and water shortages, climate change, hyperinflation, lockdowns, and the shifts of post-pandemic life, Nyandoro's latest and recent works shine a light on the struggles of working-class Zimbabweans as they navigate food sustainability, urban farming, economic migration both within and outside Zimbabwe, and their overarching resilience.


Gareth Nyandoro, We Buy Torn Dollar Notes 1, 2024. Image courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary.


The Upper Gallery presents contrasting experiences during and post-pandemic. In 2021, Nyandoro depicted his Uncle in Locked Chill, capturing the impact of lockdowns on movement and commerce coinciding with the introduction of Pfumvudza, which received a positive response, depicted in Pfumvudza/Maize-cob Steelers, showing a grower tending his crop. Greenhouse Trellising (2023) portrays Nyandoro through botanical-inspired large-scale art, focusing on the productivity and aesthetics of tomato plants. Pfumvudza faced scrutiny over its long-term benefits, highlighted in Panorama (2023), which allegorically shows a lone spirit in search of a displaced population, reflecting the migration of 84% of Zimbabweans seeking jobs abroad. 


Gareth Nyandoro, Maize - Cob Stealers, 2021. Image courtesy of Tiwani Contemporary.


The Lower Gallery illustrates economic activities like small-scale poultry in Chicken Run Setup (2023), and the digital and physical marketing of chickens in Chickens for Sale #1,2,3 [Call Now 0735 570829] (2024). The artworks We Buy Torn Dollar Notes #1,2,3 (2024) comment on the prevalent use and deterioration of the US dollar in Zimbabwean commerce. Corner Glenara and Nelson Mandela Hustle (2023) captures the vibrant vendor activity at a key intersection, illustrating their resilience and adaptability in both informal and formal markets.


The exhibition is open to view at Tiwani Contemporary, London until 15th June 2024.


Gareth Nyandoro, Chickens for Sale 2 (Call Now 0735 570829), 2023. 



About Gareth Nyandoro

Gareth Nyandoro is noted for his large works on paper, which often spill out of their two-dimensional format and into installations that include paper scraps and objects found in the markets of Harare, where he lives and works. The artist’s chief source of inspiration is the daily landscape of the city and its residents, both within the local milieu and the larger cultural panorama of Zimbabwe. Inspired by his training as a printmaker, and derived from etching, the artist’s distinctive technique, Kucheka-cheka, is named after the infinitive and present tense declinations of the Shona verb cheka, which means 'to cut'. Recent exhibitions include I See You, Tiwani Contemporary, Lagos, Nigeria (group - 2022); Suburban Bliss, Althuis Hofland Fine Arts, Amsterdam, Netherlands (solo - 2022); Maworks, Van Doren Waxter, New York NY, USA (solo - 2021); Ruwa, Tiwani Contemporary, London, UK (solo - 2020); Read All About It, Van Doren Waxter, New York NY, USA (2018); Par Amour du Jeu, Magasins Généraux, Paris, France (2018); Drawing Africa on the Map, Quetzal Art Centre, Vilda de Frades, Portugal (group - 2018); Five Bhobh – Painting at the End of an Era, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (group - 2018); Stall(s) of Fame, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (solo - 2017); Kaleidoscope, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, UK (group - 2016). Nyandoro won the FT/ OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices award in 2016 and was a resident at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2014-2015.


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