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Tawanda Takura

Zimbabwe 1989- 

Tawanda Takura (b. 1989, Zimbabwe) has exhibited with Village Unhu at Cape Town Art Fair (2017, 2018) and Joburg Art Fair (2018), and undertook a residency in Jo’burg with the South African Foundation for Contemporary Art (SAFFCA) in 2019. He is represented by Guns & Rain, where his work was included in a group show at the gallery in March 2019, the Cape Town Art Fair (2020), and in a two-man show with Thina Dube (2020). He has since participated in the group exhibitions Unnatural Objects and Meeting Places, a collaborative exhibition with Bag Factory (2021). In 2021 he participated in a residency with Guns & Rain and in a residency at the Nirox Sculpture Park, one after the other. He will have work showing during the Nirox Winter Exhibition, 2022.

Trained as a shoemaker, Takura takes apart and expertly re-assembles old shoes which carry the traces and biographies of their owners. Sometimes combined with other found objects and texts, these new figurations carry the subtle but persistent smell of rubber and leather. Hollow, hybrid, tortured and distorted, sometimes carnivalesque, Takura’s work comments on socio-political injustice, and often takes clear aim at what he sees as the extractive and hypocritical practices of charismatic churches. The artist describes how, “at times, in earlier years, I was considered a madman, going around collecting old shoes... people would see a heap of shoes in my house”. He goes on to describe how his work has opened up conversations and dialogue with neighbours and others in his community: “People really want to say things but they don’t know how to say it. I get to speak through my work and address the things that they are facing and going through [in daily life].”

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