Camilla Boemio: Can you please tell a bit about yourself, where do you live? How the landscape and nature inspire you?
Tendai Makufa: I am an artist, Tendai Makufa, born in Zimbabwe, I started to be creative at my tender age. Making wire cars, baskets to name a few things and I got several awards from my Primary school up to my Secondary school, until a brother from my church scouted me.
He paved the way for me to join B.A.T School of Fine Arts, under the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, where I trained in Fine Arts for 3 years. I remember being the first student to exhibit in a an exhibition titled Cotton, to name a few and that’s where things started. I also exhibited in a number of exhibitions around the world, the largest in Michigan, in U.S.A.
I have won lots of awards, which are listed on my Facebook page as well.
Nature and landscape have inspired me a lot, because I believe everything comes from the soil. In my childhood I lived with mother in the countryside, because father was working in town. We were getting everything from the soil, ploughing all vegetables and fruits, in contact with animals, experiencing nature. So my mother is responsible for where we are today.I see the importance of nature because of her.
That really inspired my paintings too.
C.B.: How did your upbringing influence your art-making? What informs it today?
T.M.: It influences a lot, as I was a hard worker and helping my mother a lot. But truly I am seeing it now, because when I was struggling to find a style of (painting) and I ended up thinking deeply about how I grew up. Then eventually my confidence comes until now and I am able to make some nature paintings that brings smile to all most everyone. I remember someone commented about my painting,”I am wondering where you are getting all this!!! because your topic in painting is very limited.”
C.B.: How do you approach your work? Can you briefly give us some insight into your process.
T.M.: I normally approached my art simply cool. But the truth is, I think of a subject, then I slowly give my brain some time to think on how to tackle it, but I make sure when I start painting, I won’t stand up and leave. It will be difficult even to eat or do something else until my idea comes out. I will smile when my idea comes, then I can leave it to finish later.
The reason, is the brush needs to dance to my tune.
C.B.: How can public art creates a solid community?
T.M.: It brings unity to all, and the best is, it has no boundaries in terms of languages, cultures, religions, all it does is cement all this together. An artist can become stronger if he /she mixes different cultures in his or her paintings. The truth is the beauty of art and is the thing which makes it beautiful. I think we thought it,it will not be the way it is.
C.B.: What is important to you about the visual experiences you create?
T.M.: The important thing is, I am able express and to bring what is in me through a brush. I believe everyone is born different, how we dress, what we like , the colour we like, etc. So I am able to share it with the public and the response is great. Also my teachers help on my painting: when I take time off not producing anything, they will start asking. This will give me strength to dig more and produce better art.
C.B..: What drives you?
I was born like this,I feel comfortable when I share what I have, so it drives me to this direction through paintings.
I wish all of us brings what we have and this will make the whole world smile.
Camilla Boemio is an art writer and curator who has curated projects around the world, from Los Angeles to Odessa, Ukraine. She is a member of AICA (International Association of Arts Critics) and IKT (International). Her recent curatorial projects include: her role as associate curator at Pera + Flora + Fauna. The Story of Indigenousness and Ownership of History, an official Collateral Event at 59th International Art Exhibition: La Biennale di Venezia (2022); Jérôme Chazeix The coat of hipness (materiali velati) in Altaroma2020 agenda at Label201 (2020); Marina Moreno: Dance as sculpture in space supported by Arts Council England (2019-2020); The Contemplative Edge. Il MondoNuovo. a performative Parallel Event with artists Mathew Emmett and Greig Burgoyne at Museo dell’Arte Classica, in Rome (2022). In 2016, she was the curator of Diminished Capacity the first Nigerian Pavilion at the 15th International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia; and in 2013 she was the co-associate curator of Portable Nation. Disappearance as work in Progress – Approaches to EcologicalRomanticism, the Maldives Pavilion at 55th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. In 2018, she took part in the VVM at Tate Liverpool.