Shona Sculpture

Shona Sculpture of Zimbabwe


The Noble Gallery

The Arboretum 

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In partnership with Utonga Gallery and Dominic Benhura Studios, Brookgreen Gardens presents Shona Sculpture of Zimbabwe for summer 2023.

Featuring the work of acclaimed sculptor Dominic Benhura, and including works from many other Zimbabwean artists, this exhibit will include hundreds of sculptures, large and small. All works are available for purchase through Keepsakes, the Brookgreen Shop. 

Dominic Benhura will be at Brookgreen during the month of June and will be available to explain the techniques of Shona Sculpture. 

Dominic Benhura with sculpture of woman and child
Shona Sculpture by Dominck Benhura
Sculpture by Dominic Benhura

What is Shona Sculpture?

Shona sculpture refers to the artistic tradition of stone carving by the Shona people of Zimbabwe. It is a rich and diverse art form with deep cultural and spiritual significance. Shona sculptures are renowned for their exceptional craftsmanship, intricate details, and powerful expressions.

The artists work with various types of stone, such as serpentine and verdite, using hand tools to sculpt the raw material into captivating forms. The result is a harmonious blend of natural beauty and artistic expression.

The stone used to create Shona sculpture is sourced locally from Zimbabwe, primarily from the geological feature known as the Great Dyke. Mining for raw stone in Zimbabwe is a small-scale operation. Mines are usually small open-cast pits dug by hand on steep slopes and accessed only by footpaths.

Today, Shona sculpture has gained international recognition. It is celebrated as one of Africa's most significant contributions to the world of contemporary art, offering a glimpse into Zimbabwe's rich cultural tapestry and the Shona people's artistic brilliance.