Andamiyo Chohota was born in 1976 in Chitungwiza. His family later moved to Guruve, a rural region with a rich stone-sculpting tradition, where he started carving at the age of 13. He attributes his father, Luke Chihota, with sparking and nurturing his talent. Andamiyo was also inspired by the late Henry Munyaradzi, one of the founders of the Shona art movement, whom he visited regularly as a young boy. After he left school, Andamiyo began an apprenticeship with his cousin Edronce Rukodzi (an internationally acclaimed sculptor) who introduced him to the Tengenenge Art Community. By the age of 17, he was carving full time.
Andamiyo finds inspiration from a number of sources and has become most well known for his renderings of birds, animals and depictions of the Shona people. My sculptures show my respect for the African wildlife and for the cultural values of the people, he explains. He selects his stones with great care, favouring the exceptionally beautiful fruit serpentine from one particular mine near Guruve. All Andamiyo’s distinctive sculptures bear his artistic signature delicately decorated eyes. Eyes, he explains, express what is inside, as they look out on the world. His work is expressive, contemplative and beautifully crafted. Paramount in his process is finding the ‘balance’ in a piece of stone and of the importance of detail in the finish. Although Andamiyo is still a member of the Tengenenge Art Community, he felt that relocating to Harare would heighten exposure of his work. There he works alongside his older brother Singi and two cousins, in an urban outdoor studio. In 2002 he was invited to St. Andreasberg in Germany, where he participated in a group exhibition and gave sculpting workshops. He has participated in several major group shows of Shona sculptures, most notably at the Museum of Fine Arts in San Diego, California. His sculptures have sold to collectors in Holland, Germany, Belgium, the UK, the USA and Canada. He is represented by Sankaranka Gallery in New York City. Andamiyo travelled to Canada in 2006 as the guest artist-in-residence for Shona D’Afrique II in Montreal and for Rice Lake VII, the seventh annual outdoor exhibition of Shona sculptures hosted by ZimArt. He also led a sculpting workshop in the Rice Lake Gallery, which was enthusiastically received by his students. Adamiyo spent the summer of 2008 in Germany. He led a workshop in Skulpturengalerie Sylt on Sylt, an island in the Northern Sea, and in Franconia, at two other galleries; Into Africa by Nuremberg, and Atelier Rap in Obervolkach.