Bernard was on e of the 22 initial founder members of Frank McEwen’s Art Workshop from 1957 – 1973 at Vhukutiwa in Nyanga and the National Gallery.
Born in 1942, Bernard took pleasure in sculpting culturally symbolic flora and fauna from traditional oral fables and folklore – “Tsuro” (the rock rabbit), “Shave Shave” (the butterfly) and “Gudo” (the baboon) were typical of the folklore characters he personified in his carvings.
He worked as a commercial farmer and joined McEwen’s Vhukutiwa Workshop in 1961, at the age of 19. In the mid 60’s his work was exhibited at “The Treasures Of The Commonwealth” Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. His art was also represented in teh 1st major exhibitions of Zimbabwe Stone Sculpture namely, Musee Rodin, Paris, MOMA, New York and the RA in London. He produced a huge variety of animal fables in stone for 38 years.
He is credited as having introduced the appeal of “unpolished texture” to the local visual language of stone sculpture as early as 1966. He also used “scale” as artistic license to exaggerate the forms and symbols of this sculpture. The witty animated compositions and sculptural poses of his animals intrigue and challenge our visual appreciation.