"Morning Excercise (C-3)" is an original black serpentine stone sculpture by Colleen Madamombe. The artist signed the piece. This artwork features a woman with her hand raised above her head, and the artist used smooth and rough textures from the same stone.
Black serpentine stone
9 3/4" x 9" x 6" art
Colleen Madamombe was born in 1964 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Considered to be among the finest new talents from Zimbabwe, she has won the award of Best Female Artist of Zimbabwe for the past three consecutive years and is quickly becoming an established figure in the Second Generation of Zimbabwean stone sculptors.
Madamombe's sculpture is evidence of her strong determination to express herself by creating a very individual style and choice of subject matter. The themes of womanhood, girlhood, pregnancy, motherhood and the authority of the tribal Matriarch are visible in her artwork. These themes provide continuing inspiration and she looks forward to continuing to portray the feminine experience through old age. Madamombe is interested in not only the emotional and spiritual side of a woman's life but also the basic physical appearance and movement particular to females. She depicts in her forms these aspects of womanhood with poetic clarity, revealing emotions such as pride, authority, energy, endeavor, sadness, tenderness, and humor. Madamombe is a quiet and private person, however, she has strong feelings concerning the changing role of women in Zimbabwean society. Opportunities are developing for women, however, she feels they are losing their positions of traditional respect. In her view, it still remains difficult for women to pursue a career in the arts, predominantly because of an inherent lack of self-confidence. However, another critical factor is that the idea of following one's own ideas and ambitions or pursuing a profession is foreign to many Zimbabwean women. Madamombe explained, "A lot of women are artists and just don't realize it --making pots and other things for the home, and not for sale."
Some of Madamombe's early works emphasized the importance of seemingly insignificant subjects such as ants, bees, butterflies, and caterpillars. She admits to a fascination with what she sees as the humility of insects, a trait she feels the human race has lost. Other creatures, such as the cat and the zebra have provided interesting subject material, however, her fascination with the smallest of living things has endured, remarking, "[I like]... The way ants move in lines particularly. I love to watch their movement." She observes each of her subjects as close as possible and then carves from a strong mental image and the memories she holds of the animal, insect, or person.
Madamombe predominantly works in hard black Serpentine and uses the outer blanket of the stone to create several different textures to contrast with the polished surfaces.
She died on May 31, 2009, and is buried near her rural home in Zvimba.