‘Elephant’ was carved by Victor Mutongwizo, one of our favorite artists. Victor selects stones to carve very carefully spending days at the mines. He looks for tones and colours that are bright and vibrant.
This sculpture is signed Victor Mtongwizo. When I asked Victor why there is an alternate spelling he said: “Because there are”. I left it there.
Victor is a founding member and former chairperson of the Canon Paterson Co-operative Craft Society in Mbare, Zimbabwe. Canon Paterson is Zimbabwe’s oldest craft co-op. His pieces have also been prominently displayed at the National Gallery.
Verdite is only found in South Africa and Zimbabwe. This piece was mined near Concession, north of Harare. It is a good stone for carving with a hardness of around 3 on the Mohs Scale.
In one of the photos, Victor is seen leaning, wearing a blue shirt as we loaded a container. This picture was taken in 2008.
Height: 7.3 inches (18.5 cm)
Width: 3 inches (7.5 cm)
Length: 4.8 inches (12 cm)
Weight: 4.3 lb (1.95 kg)
Nharo works directly with artisans and co-operatives in Zimbabwe. Our first trip to Zimbabwe was in 2002 and we have been going back often, once or twice a year.