This week I want to shine the light on Allen Sibanda.
I’m finding it hard to remember the first time I met Allen. He has just always been a fixture in my ‘art life’ in Zimbabwe. However, if I had to pick a time I’m pretty sure it was 2008 and I’m pretty sure it was at the National Gallery. Allen was a steadfast member of the arts community. Always kind. Always ready to lend a hand. Always carried himself with dignity. Earned respect, never demanded it. Soft spoken with a smile. Incredibly talented. His art reflects his love and compassion for people.
Location: Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Medium: Visual Art Collage on paper.
Allen started creating art in primary school when the art club teacher saw his talent and nurtured him.
I recently asked Allen why he does what he does. What drives him? This was his response.
“Because love doesn’t fail.
So you are always searching and asking yourself ‘how can I express this differently this time?’
I wouldn’t use the work ‘drive’ because it leaves this impression you don’t have a choice but to do it. Because I love… I do.
What message do you want to convey to people through your art?
Mostly issues which affect people will cause a stirring in my heart then I will begin the long road of travelling, looking how can I best communicate this.
When asked to describe his art he states, “My primary subject is people. I work with a collection of various materials, paper being the main medium of choice. The process of merging the different materials brings with it endless possibilities in exploring how I can express what I want to create.”
What has inspired your recent works?
'“I was following the refugee crisis in Europe…. You leave a place called home and you get to a place where you are not welcomed. How do you begin to build that place called home again? This question has inspired a whole new series of works.”
That coupled with personal growth. “I needed to re-visit the past to deal with some issues that had found a way into my life without opening a door for them. Restoring that peace in my heart.” What I have learned…it’s fine to revisit the past but with a clear mind not clouded by bitterness because if you revisit with this bitterness in you, you won’t be able to collect any insight.”
Allen has a huge collection of work for sale. Feel free to contact him below and get in touch.
Contact: twitter - @allensibanda