Newton - African (Shona)

Creation, 2001
Sculpture, Verdite
8.75 x 6.25 x 2.50 in
SKU: 10963g
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'Creation' is an original verdite stone sculpture by an unknown Zimbabwean sculptor. Though all that is known of the artist is the name "Newton," the sculpture shows clearly the skill and artistry of the Shona stone-carving tradition. The sculpture presents an abstracted figure, their head leaning to the side as their hand reaches from behind. The head, with its simple planes and curving features, has the appearance of a mask – one eye open upward as though winking at the heavens or waking from a dream.

The artist likewise plays with the textures of the stone itself, bringing some areas of the verdite to a high and colorful polish while leaving others rough as the day the stone was quarried. Verdite is itself a highly-prized material among Shona sculptors for its rich green color. The stone is even harder and more difficult to carve than the serpenines often used by Shona artists. Mining for raw stone in Zimbabwe is a small-scale operation and Mines are usually small open-cast pits, dug by hand on scorching hot hillsides, on steep slopes and accessed only by footpaths. They are too small to cause any environmental damage and form a valuable alternative source of income to many rural communities.

verdite stone
8.75 x 6.25 x 2.5 inches
not signed
overall good condition with some minor abrasions