Zimbabwean artwork goes on display at Knebworth House garden sculpture exhibition

Dudzai Mushawepwere and Matthew Nakhawale

Dudzai Mushawepwere and Matthew Nakhawale - Credit: Archant

Artwork by Zimbabwean sculptors can be seen in the grounds of a Hertfordshire stately home from July 1.

The garden sculpture exhibition is on display through Knebworth House’s 28 acres of formal gardens until August 31.

It is in collaboration with Matombo, a group of travelling sculptors that source artworks directly from solo artists, small workshops and co-operatives from many different parts of Zimbabwe.

‘Matombo’ means ‘stone’ in the Shona language, a fitting name given that the exhibition is believed to be the largest display of stone sculpture in the south of England, featuring the works of more than 40 artists.

The collection has been curated by Orlando Compton, working closely with Zimbabwean sculptors Dudzai Mushawepwere and Matthew Nakhawale, who will be resident artists at the exhibition and will be happy to speak to visitors about the works.


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Orlando said: “Art and culture is passed from generation to generation in Zimbabwe and it’s great to be able to support the artists at a troubled time for the country.”

The display has been hosted at Orlando’s family home of Newby Hall in North Yorkshire for the past 12 years, bringing different artists and styles to the show each year.

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The exhibition is now expanding to the south of England, and it will be showcased at Knebworth House for two months.

“We’re delighted now to be showcasing the collection to a wider audience, as well as forging a new relationship with another of the UK’s privately owned stately homes, Knebworth,” said Orlando.

The exhibition is a great showcase of emerging and renowned artists, for both the enjoyment of visitors and for collectors to purchase.

Furthermore, there are fantastic opportunities for groups and school visits to get involved.

Knebworth House’s Martha Lytton Cobbold said: “We are delighted to welcome Orlando and his Matombo exhibition to our gardens, and know visitors will enjoy discovering the sculptures and meeting the talented artists.

“The pieces are extraordinary and beautifully placed within the herbaceous borders, lawns, ponds, and orchards.

“It’s a treat to see them in the historic landscape and yet they would look wonderful within a modern garden too!”

Entry to the Knebworth Garden Sculpture Exhibition is included with a 2017 season ticket or with a Knebworth Park & Gardens admission ticket.

• For more information, or to buy tickets, visit www.knebworthhouse.com, call the estate offices on 01438 810931 or email info@knebworthhouse.com

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