Aron Kapembeza is one of Zimbabwes successful and most represented artists. Born in 1982, he is primarily a self-taught sculptor. His artistic talent was evident at an early age of 18 and through perseverance and dedication; he is one of Zimbabwes leading springstone sculptors. Aron maintains his studio gallery and sculpture garden in New Tafara, Harare, 25km from the encounters Colleen Madamombes unfinished motherhood which struck a cord in him. He discovered he was able to see the finished sculptures hidden in springstone and from that moment, a transformation began which has snapped the soul of an artist. Colleen Madamombe, an aunt, introduced him to the exciting medium of stones. She taught him to appreciate details of nature. Colleen, an established female sculptor taught him the rudiments of sculpting, before moving into his own style. She encouraged him to carve larger stones, this inspired him and later tried his hand to sculpt, consequently, began to develop his own style. During these early years, he carved off-cuts. Since his experience with Colleen, Arons desire to create has been continuous and prolific. His passion for the human for has made him develop his owns expressive style, womanhood from tender ages to motherhood, and this can be seen in a wide range of gorgeous sculptures ranging from stylised to representational in the gallery. He sold his first professional artwork at the age of eighteen.
Aron says, I like to sculpt representational pieces. It is very gratifying to transform rough springstone into a shape that I can find in the heart of stone. He is a young upcoming Zimbabwean artist, who has chosen art as his career and it is a rare moment when his sensors turned off. He does not consult books and lacks school of fine arts training.
Its my own work and once I select a certain rough springstone or rock I need, I let my mind and feelings coupled with the intrinsic characteristics of stone control the final image. In most cases, the structure of the stone determines the design. Viewers cannot resist the urge to run their hand over Arons sculptures. He strives to create sculpture that will seduce the viewers eye, stir the soul, and entice the viewer to touch. He carves as much of the details of a particular subject as he can, without sacrificing the flowing, graceful lines, which typify his style. He is a widely collected artist with a diverse and versatile sculpting talent. His work can be found in private, corporate and public collections in Europe and African continent and has 40 exhibitions to his credit. Most recently, Aron worked with exclusive gallery in Netherlands.
He is one of the stone sculptors to have a solo exhibition in Netherlands, Europe and the first sculptor to give lessons in Europe. In July 2007, Aron travelled to Netherlands and worked at renowned studio Gallery De Buffel for three months. Arons work has been exhibited in major exhibitions in Zimbabwe and internationally. He works at his home, his knowledge and skill influence local and international sculptor apprentices. Aron is passionate about his work, and is interested in sharing with patrons. He is very approachable, and welcomes inquiries.
I find it a deeply natural experience to carve and I am constantly amazed and excited about the discoveries that can be found in Zimbabwean hard black springstone as well as opal stone, often using outer blanket of the stones and designing various styles to contrast with polished surfaces, says Aron.
Time Lapse Video – Aron’s sculpture from start to finish.
Interview at Dallas Arboretum with visitor Sandra Kent.