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May 18, 2016 2:24 PM ET

Archived: Guns & Rain initiative – bring two highly talented young Zimbabwean artists to South Africa

iCrowdNewswire - May 18, 2016

Help Support Admire & Wallen’s Residency in South Africa

Economic recession, widespread unemployment, decreased funding for the arts. Well, it’s not going to stop us. We want to bring 2 highly talented young Zimbabwean artists to Johannesburg, South Africa for a 3-month working residency & programme of events at Assemblage Studios and The Point of Order, including an exhibition and participation in the Turbine Art Fair. But we need your help – and you’ll get something in exchange! This project is a Guns & Rain initiative.


About This Project


Help Fund Admire & Wallen’s Residency!

We all know the reality.  Economic recession, widespread unemployment, decreased funding for the arts. Well, it’s not going to stop us.  Here’s the thing: we want to bring two highly talented young Zimbabwean artists to South Africa for a 3-month working residency and programme of events at Assemblage and The Point of Order, culminating in an awesome exhibition, as well as their participation in the Turbine Art Fair.  This residency project is a Guns & Rain initiative.

But we need your help, and every little bit will help. Even better, you’ll get something in exchange!  Just keep on reading.


Admire Kamudzengerere trained at Gallery Delta and the National Gallery School in Harare, where he teaches.  In 2012, he was awarded a 2-year residency at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, one of 15 artists selected from over 2000 applicants. His art explores identity, politics and society, frequently revealing an unequal world in which the powerful ride roughshod over the weak.  

Wallen Mapondera also lives and works in Harare, and has exhibited in multiple countries, winning awards along the way. Wallen’s paintings explore the use and abuse of animals. In so doing, he asks broader questions about power relations and hierarchies, challenging us to think about our actions towards nature, and towards each other.

For more detailed bios, please see our Team page.


The art scene in Harare is small: working and living conditions are tough, with limited resources and a collapsed art market, and day to day frustrations of power cuts, cash shortages, lack of internet and so on.  The opportunities for personal and professional growth and development are limited.  

Being in Johannesburg will allow Admire and Wallen to engage with a host of weekly arts programmes across multiple institutions, from universities, to private galleries and collectives

They’lll actively learn from their exposure to the Joburg art scene and will also get to know the Joburg visual arts community, especially the artists at Assemblage, where they’ll have studio space.

South African art lovers will have direct access to these two artists via open studio visits, artist talks, and a gallery exhibition at Point of ORder, and online exhibition that reaches a global audience via Guns & Rain.  


Admire and Wallen are two really talented young artists, and we want to help them take their next steps. We need your help, and every little bit will make a difference. Funds will cover their travel, accommodation, local transport, studio space, art materials, and basic exhibition costs.   

At the very minimum, we want to reach our ‘tipping point’ of 35,000 rand, which will enable the artists to get to Jo’burg and spend just enough time here to create work for their exhibition and Turbine Art Fair, even if they need to leave Joburg earlier than planned.


We’d love to share any other info you want to know! For further info including a detailed budget, please email Julie at julie@gunsandrain.com.

Thank you for reading and for your interest!


The Team



Admire Kamudzengerere: Biography
[born 1981 in Zimbabwe; lives and works in Zimbabwe]

Known for his lively, raw and often dark allegorical depictions of urban and country life in Zimbabwe, Admire Kamudzengerere was one of 15 successful artists selected from over 2000 applicants worldwide, and the second Zimbabwean artist ever, to be awarded a residency at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, 2012 – 2014. Trained at Gallery Delta and at the National Gallery College, Kamudzengerere’s work explores identity, politics and society, informed in no small measure by the multifaceted structural and political violence that has marked Zimbabwe’s last decade. His paintings frequently reveal an unequal world in which the powerful ride roughshod over the weak

Admire’s first video art work was motivated by the fact that, unlike his European counterparts, he could not secure funding to make work for the Moscow Biennale, to which he had been invited. The video explores the politics of identity, power, race and religion. The participants were fellow artists from the Rijksakademie.

Admire is the founder of Animal Farm, a sustainable farm-based artist collective dedicated to cultural enrichment of the rural community by artists. It started in May 2013, through support from Dutch Ministry of Culture and Hivos. The Animal Farm is located in Zvimba rural area, 128 km from Harare which houses a herbal garden, pig sty, cattle kraal, goats, fowl run and bee hive. Still in infancy, Kamudezengerere aims to bring together food production and art as a mode of community building.
Admire is based in Harare, and is represented in Johannesburg and online by Guns & Rain. He is a lecturer and mentor at The National Gallery of Zimbabwe School of Visual Arts and Design where he teaches 40 students per year. He is passionate about improvising and developing alternative solutions for artists and creatives, especially in the difficult circumstances of Zimbabwe. Amongst others, he has lead workshops for fibre casting, cardboard printing and papermaking, as well as building a new dark room for silkscreen printing.

Wallen Mapondera: Biography
[born 1985 in Zimbabwe; lives and works in Zimbabwe]

Wallen Mapondera is a conceptual expressionist artist who works in a variety of media, including painting and soft sculpture. He lives and works in Harare and graduated from the National Gallery school in 2007. He attended Chinhoi University of Technology in 2008, the only university that offers a bachelors and masters degree in fine art in Zimbabwe but was unable to finish his studies due to political instability, going instead to South Africa for a year, before returning to Harare. Wallen is passionate about encouraging arts education at secondary level, recently founding the Post Studio Arts Collective, where emerging artists share their experiences with, and provide career guidance to, secondary school students to inspire their interest in the arts.

In his ‘Social Zoometry’ series, Wallen uses zoomorphic and anthropomorphic imagery to explore the use and abuse of animals in Zimbabwe – and across the continent – for both commercial and ritualistic purposes. In so doing, he comments more broadly on socio-political power relations and hierarchies. He poses uncomfortable questions to viewers, such as how we justify our often-hypocritical actions towards nature and towards each other. “We witness these abuses daily, read and hear about them, yet we do not take time to think and act upon them”, says Mapondera.

Wallen has shown in multiple group and solo exhibitions in Zimbabwe; he has also exhibited in South Africa (AVA Cape Town, Greatmore Studios Cape Town), France, Germany, the Netherlands, Mozambique and Australia. He has won multiple awards in Zimbabwe and most recently is the winner of the prestige National art Merit Awards 2015. This year he also travelled to Madagascar to participate in the Urban Art Festival.

Julie Taylor: Biography
[born 1980 in Zimbabwe, lives and works in South Africa]

Julie is the founder & director of Guns & Rain, www.gunsandrain.com, an online platform for contemporary fine art from southern Africa which aims to help artists, especially those who are young and emerging, be better represented in the global art economy. She is currently pursuing a fourth degree, a Masters in History of Art at Wits University, Johannesburg, with a focus on exhibitions, curating and technology.

Before Guns & Rain, Julie was head of Google’s communications, public affairs and public relations for Sub Saharan Africa, with a focus on South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal & Uganda. She led an international team, developing and implementing local and international projects & campaigns to improve internet access, make the web relevant to Africans, and strengthen the online ecosystem. She pioneered an internet education programme to help strengthen African media. Prior to moving back to Africa, Julie was based in London, also with Google.

Julie’s background is in social anthropology & international development. She holds a BA (Hons) in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, and an MPhil and DPhil from Oxford University.

Contact Information:

Admire Kamudzengerere

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