Cosmos Muchenje was born in 1960 in Msana, near Bindura in the north of Zimbabwe. He showed artistic promise whilst at school, drawing charts and illustrating diagrams for his teacher and it was his mother who encouraged him to pursue his great interest when finishing his basic education.
Consequently, he later studied at the Canon Paterson Art Centre and the Peter Birch School of Art (mainly painting, rather than sculpting) and was influenced enormously by these early experiences.
As a sculptor, Cosmos originally worked representationally in Verdite, but now works in a variety of ways using stones favoured by many of the Contemporary sculptors from Zimbabwe. He quotes the late John Takawira and Edward Chiwawa as his early influences but his sculpture shows individual expression in its portrayal of natural organic forms and depictions of the human figure. The most common description one reads of his work is that it has a lyrical and graceful quality. His work is rarely confrontational or harsh and instead expresses a great peace and calm spiritual outlook.
Working with opal and black varieties of serpentine, Cosmos portrays images such as flowers and leaf structures as well as the human head. Sometimes his human forms are realistic and highly decorated, other times distorted to a degree of abstraction. In the last few years he has focused on animals in particular the Buck, perhaps because of its grace and elegance, which he can interpret so well in stone.
His observation of the natural world can also be seen in his paintings – working mainly with landscapes. He is also an accomplished musician and Gospel music in particular plays an important role in his life.
Muchenje is well known among the Zimbabwean art circles for his highly individual but private lifestyle and his fellow sculptors respect his work.
His work has been shown in many national and international exhibitions.
The first ever video interview with Cosmos can be found at; https://youtu.be/Z0zbq3acCro