Part of the Shona stone sculpture exhibition Part of the Shona stone sculpture exhibition CREDIT: no 9 marketing

World class stone sculpture exhibition opens at Sileni

Wednesday 22 October 2008, 10:46AM
By no 9 marketing


The vines at one of this country’s best known wineries will be sharing attention with one of the world’s most collected sculpture forms during summer.

The third annual exhibition of the beautiful, tactile Shona African tribe stone sculpture ‘Spirit of Stone’ opens to the public at Sileni Estates Winery in Hawke’s Bay this weekend.

Louise and Bruce Stobart from Birdwoods Gallery in Havelock North returned to their homeland Zimbabwe earlier this year to select the sculptures for the exhibition, which has become a “must see event” on the national arts calendar.

During the past decade, Zimbabwe Shona stone sculpture has become an extremely popular form of African art.

Unlike formally trained Western artists, Shona carvers are primarily self-taught. They don’t plan or pre-draw their sculptures but are inspired by the stone itself.

Louise Stobart says the Shona African tribe believes everything has a spirit and their famous sculptors set out to release the unique spirit captured in each piece of stone.

“Shona stone sculptors often say the spirits of their ancestors come to them in their dreams and reveal the spirit that dwells within the rock,” says Louise.

“The sculptures exude a profound sense of stillness and contemplation while also having great energy.” 

This year’s collection includes a range of sizes and styles and types of serpentine stone.

There are Shona stone sculptures in permanent exhibitions throughout the world from Paris and London to New York and Frankfurt.

Sileni Estates General Manager of Sales & Marketing Pip Austin says Sileni is delighted to be hosting the exhibition for the third year in a row.

“The Shona stone sculpture exhibition is a great opportunity for art lovers to see these fabulous works without having to travel to Zimbabwe,” says Pip.

Many people take the opportunity to view the sculptures and enjoy a meal at the award winning Sileni restaurant at the same time.

All the works in the “Spirits in Stone” exhibition are available to buy.