Connection Set in Stone
Visionary Namibian sculptor and printmaker, Alpheus Mvula, is delighting the senses and provoking the mind yet again with another exhibition on at the FNCC Gallery. The exhibition, titled the Tonzo, is a new sculptural exhibition with many layers of meaning. 99FM’s MYD Art spoke to Alpheus about this exhibition and his deep connection to the stone he carves.
“I have a connection to the stone. When I work with the stone, it gives me the idea. I don’t use a sketch book, I have to wait and look at the stone, and then I see my image in the stone.”
“I have a connection to the stone. When I work with the stone, it gives me the idea. I don’t use a sketch book, I have to wait and look at the stone, and then I see my image in the stone.” Says Alpheus who is widely acclaimed as a sculpture and printmaker and who started with drawing, as a young boy growing up in Northern Namibia.
“You will find many diamond shapes in my sculptures, a woman is like a diamond, so I explore this and the value of the woman.” Says Alpheus who explains that the role of women in society has mattered to him since he first began drawing.
“I looked at the link and the connection. The link for myself and my personal connection to the stone and medium that I use, but then also the connection between the subject.”
Alpheus reflects on many societal issues facing us today, from prejudice to climate change in this exhibition. His multi-layered messages are displayed on a variety of beautiful Namibian stone, from white marble to granite, soap stone and serpentine. Today Alpheus’ work can be found in private collections all over the world, a success attributed to his constant desire to learn new techniques and most likely underpinned by his exploration of topics that are relevant and important.
Alpheus explains that in this exhibition he has looked at the connection of opposites such as male and female, or the connection between Black and White. “I looked at the link and the connection. The link for myself and my personal connection to the stone and medium that I use, but then also the connection between the subject.”
Working every day on his art, some pieces can take up to a month to complete. “It always depends, it might take three weeks, or it might take one month. If it’s a piece you are going to smooth that will take longer. I might start and then leave it there and I go to another piece because I am going with my idea, the idea of this stone, until I get them connected.”
“A lot of energy is involved in this and lot of hard work” says Alpheus, who explains that despite this, to be a sculpture and to work with stone, “is very rewarding.”
Alpheus Mvula’s sculptural exhibition, the Tonzo is on at the FNCC Gallery until the 8th of June 2017. For more information, click here