Born in 1953 in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, he was taught to carve stone as a youth by his uncle and following independence struggle, was the first student to join the reformed B.A.T Workshop. By the early nineteen-eighties his studies in Zimbabwe and abroad in Great Britain and Austria led to experiments in other media, most notably printmaking, but also textile design and painting. During 1983 he studied and taught in Tanzania and attended the International Summer Academy in Austria, returning to Zimbabwe to win a number of important awards for stone sculpture in 1983, 1984 and 1986, and graphics in 1988. Sculpture in 1983, 1984, 1986, 1994, 1995, 1996 and graphics in 1998. From 1982, turning his back on the established forms of stone sculpture common in the country, he developed a unique and very personal style, often combining separately carved stone pieces and other elements into a single work by positioning or using fixing metal pins.

At the same time, Muzondo continued to work in three dimensions, and his sculptural works were enriched by his experiences with two-dimensional forms. While his sculptures retain their monumental presences as solid volumes their surfaces are enhanced by Muzondo’s explorations of light and shade and color within his material. Preferring to exploit the rich colors and textures of his material, Muzondo eschews highly polished surfaces and instead works deep into the material to reveal its inner nature. “The deeper you go, the darker it becomes,” he observes.

The introduction of these works strongly influenced many of the leading established stone sculptors in the country. Not confined solely to sculpting stone, as a two dimensional artist, he enjoys both printing and painting and is skilled in textile design. His works have been included in a number of European and African publications and his piece ‘War Victim’ (1982) was used on a commemorative stamp in 1988.

Devoid of the popular imagery associated with “Shona Sculpture”, his work derives from the process of “direct carving”. With this artist, the incidental shapes of nature and the conceived imagery are resolved in a fusion of geometric and biomorphic simplifications.

His subject matter is eclectic, drawn from rural, urban and internal experiences. The theme of reconciliation be it political, ideological, or matrimonial is also explored for its universal appeal. Angular profiles, organic forms, texture and a graphic surface detail gives his work a distinct signatory style. As an artist who takes pride in original ideas and an individualistic approach, he says: “My work is not Shona or European Art — it is Muzondo Sculpture.”

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