Portrait hand-overs reassure commissioning

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Divine Ndhlukula

Zvikomborero Mandangu
Everything was abuzz at Securico Security Services complex as the National Gallery of Zimbabwe handed over a portrait of the company’s managing director, Divine Ndhlukula.

The handover was facilitated as part of the Gallery’s ongoing 60th Anniversary celebrations. The event presented two facets that are unassailable factors that cut across all forms of industry; the provision of a service and the utility of the service provided.

Established as such, to a greater part of the public, the artist has no industry and no support structures to cushion creative pursuit; therein the Gallery enters to aid the artist in exposition, dealership and marketing of their artworks.

Retracing to the occasion, the presentation was stemmed from an exhibition held in the year 2015. The exhibition was entitled Prominent Personalities: Portraits of Zimbabweans.

Out of hundreds of celebrated personalities, 50 sterling individuals who stand as inspirations and heroes in the Public eye; were depicted by some of the leading portrait artists in the land, in what was an immeasurable benefaction to Visual Art by Schweppes Zimbabwe Limited.

Speaking at the occasion, the Securico Security Services board of directors chairman, Clement Ruzengwe, reflected on the Gallery’s presentation of the portrait by establishing that portraits are a power symbol that have been aligned to political figures overall.

He went on to point out that the portrait stood for the appreciation of the Public for her business acumen, paragon of Women Issues and firebrand promoter of entrepreneurship.

Ndhlukula stated that the memorialisation of public figures is important, moreover, upon the commissioning of the artwork came as an honour to her. She stated that associates from around the world had viewed her portrait in the Gallery upon their travels, which came as an adulation to her. The portrait presented was by Esop Chovuchovu.

As at this handover, it is high time the business community embraces the largely informal Art industry with its creative reserves. The commissioning of artists to execute commemorative artworks and monumental pieces offers a gateway into the creation of works that reflect an organisation’s brand identity.

This also serves to provide the corporation with a collection of art; a body of fungible objects which appreciate in value and may be exchanged in future.

The commissioning process provides the artist a means to operate towards the creation of the best product, the corporation gains an original and unique work that enshrines its values, mission and goals.

Particularly, the power of a portrait may lie within the representation of an organisation’s founder, director or chairman with the aptness that is lacked in the generic photograph and reinstated by the fine media of painting and sculpture.

A series of Zimbabwean businesses have gone the way of commissioning artists and the infusion of national identity through the celebration of local and internationally celebrated personalities; locally relevant narratives and themes, and the captioning of organisational philosophy by artists from the local community has infinite positives with regards to the development of the art sector.

Aside from exhibitions such as Prominent Personalities: Portraits of Zimbabweans the National Gallery of Zimbabwe has worked with the private sector with regards to the commissioning of artworks by the corporate sector.

The Art @ Work platform creates a platform for corporations to be connected to a pool of artists who can provide tailor made artwork to suit their organisation’s mantra and office spaces. The notion of choice is key for commissioning and the Gallery stands as middleman in the nexus.

The artist enjoys acquittal while the corporation has a service delivered to suit their tastes; overall the patronage of businesses to artists creates a flourishing environment where the creative spirit receives a positive endorsement that has the ability to better careers which effectively increase in value as long as the artist’s portfolio expands.

Such is the matter with Securico’s housing of the Chovuchovu painting; the value attached to the subject matter, that is Divine Ndhlukula, and the abounding talent of the artist present an augmented relationship between the corporation and the art world which will strengthen with time.

As the year progresses, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe will continue to present portraiture from the prominent personalities — portraits of Zimbabweans exhibition to other organisations as expressions of appreciation to the diverse group of organisations and individuals celebrated by this exhibition.

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