Young Painter Searches for Self in Art

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – Award winning painter, Carlton Gumede, 23, revealed that his work is still undergoing an evolution as he is still in a process of discovering himself.

“The biggest challenge with my work today is that I am still at a point of discovering myself in terms of technique and subject matter. I’m inspired by the works of French artists of different centuries and art movements. I do a lot of research and the gallery is a great platform for research because it has an arts reference library,” said Gumede whose artistic brilliance saw him win the Young Artist of Promise Award 2010 at the National Art Gallery of Bulawayo.

The painting for which he won the award is titled, “They Co-exist to Survive,” is a wildlife-inspired piece of art that features animals including zebras, giraffes, gembok and springbok at a waterhole against a background of a cloudy sunset. Gumede said that his art relies on a lot of painstaking detail which he takes time to perfect.

After he won the award, he was offered an artist in residence in one of the studios at the gallery. The young artist said being an artist-residence gave him an opportunity to interact with seasoned artists that are based at the gallery.

“I share the studio with well-seasoned and mature artist, Dumisani Ndlovu, who encourages and inspires me at a very personal level,” he said.

The painter said that he has a passion for learning new techniques to execute his art, adding that lack of resources was hindering his progression as an artist.

“I’m an art appreciating type of a student. I’m a practising artist and I do not do art because its a process of learning. However, one of the biggest challenges that I face is shortage of materials for painting. Lack of materials can overcome one’s creativity,” he said.

Gumede also said that he hope to take his work to international exhibitions in order to share his vision of Zimbabwean culture with the rest of the world.

“I’m hoping that one day my work will reach to the furthermost corners of the world. I look forward to sharing the Zimbabwean experience with the rest of the world,” said the artist.