Artist aims for unique visual work


DESPITE being mostly of the realm of the imagination, visual painted art works can provoke positive messages that can be heard much louder than a verbal shout, such is the work of Bulawayo-based upcoming artist Carlton Gumede.


Since obtaining arts certificate with Mzilikazi Arts Centre, Gumede has been practicing to develop a unique touch on canvas.

Having showcased some of his paintings locally at the National Art Gallery, the 27-year-old earned a reputable award of best young artist of promise during the Visual Arts Association Bulawayo’s (VAAB)’s 26th annual exhibition.

“From that same regional platform I also received a two-year arts residency at the gallery courtesy of Hivos and the Friends of the Gallery,” Gumede told Woza Weekend.

This for him was an opportunity for growth and outreach to his contemporaries and to the world, with platforms that promote young talent helping them build credible brands among their global counterparts — Intwasa Arts Festival KoBulawayo and Ibumba International Festival.

Art work
Art work

“Currently my work still carries an experimental touch and this is because in my journey new painting styles or subjects continue to develop,” he said.

“I would say my art has an impretionistic feel to it.”

His goal for 2015 is simple — to bring his art before great men and discover a more dynamic potential of creating wealth while not neglecting participation in the collaborative efforts of local or international exhibitions.

Born on August 5 1987 in Bulawayo, Gumede went to Lozikeyi Primary School and later attended Mzilikazi High School.

“Sadly, the pursuit for academics appeared to be the least of my strengths and when I finished secondary education, my grandparents encouraged a new pursuit in the creative arts,” he said.

“I was enrolled to begin a fine art and commercial arts training at Mzilikazi Art Centre.”

After two years of study and training, he completed studies between 2006 and 2007 and obtained a certificate in art.

“As a trained artist, I strongly believe in the fundamental principles and elements of art and so to skillfully organise the same principles gives my works a stable construction in any given scale.”

In 2008, Gumede was employed by a ceramic decoration firm known as Penzo Zim, but due to the harsh economic environement, the firm folded.

“This was an unforeseen opportunity to go back home and create my first painting,” he said.

“To my greatest surprise, this became a chance to be at home, reflect and create my first artwork — a detailed work that carries the enlightened virtues of artistic order.

“It is a wildlife painting on canvas titled ‘Co-exist to Survive’. Shortly after finishing the same artwork, it was then accepted for display at the National Gallery’s VAAB annual exhibition. This launched me into newer heights of an art career.”