The winter is a challenging time for someone who typically enjoyed 80 degree days growing up in Zimbabwe. During the snowy Colorado winter, I have to make a special effort to seek out things that warm my soul and inspire me in the studio.
For the average person from the African continent, life is directly tied to movement and rhythm. When I feel frozen (literally and figuratively!), I return to movement and music. You’ll frequently find me listening to old school favorites by beloved Shona musician, Oliver Mtukudzi. This is often the cure for any “artist-block” that I experience.
There’s no shortage of movement inspiration in our house — my wife is a dancer and my son, Kwayedza, (like most 3 year-olds) seems to never stop! Whether Kwayedza is expressing himself while listening to his favorite Congolese soukous music, or imitating a jumping frog, I find inspiration in his energy. When my hands are feeling a little too icy to keep sculpting, or the snow covered scenery isn’t motivating me in the studio, I retreat to our home where the energy of Kwayedza warms my soul.
When I look back on my work from 2015, I see this focus on movement and rhythm reflected in my sculpture. My latest piece is undoubtedly influenced by the playfulness in my life (how can you get more playful than leap frog?).
As I dream of the summer temperatures and Colorado sun warming me in the backyard while I tap away with my hammer and chisel, I’m reminded that there will be no shortage of energy in the Tafura home soon… we’ll be welcoming a new sculptor in June 2016. More inspiration to come!
Best wishes in this snowy season,