Under the shade of a tent at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, two sculptors from Zimbabwe chiseled and filed, turning blocks of stone into works of art.
“It’s hotter here,” Brighton Layton remarked as he hammered a chisel to see what the stone would reveal to him. “It will just come as you go. All you need is a starting point!”
Layton is an artist in residence with ZimSculpt, a traveling art exhibit that features works from Zimbabwean artists.
“We work with about 300 different Zimbabwean sculptors in Zimbabwe. We’re trying to raise awareness of this amazing art form,” ZimSculpt Founder Vivienne Croisette said. “They can see a part of Africa that they might not know about.”
All of the sculptures are hand carved. No power tools are used to create the flowers, and birds, and animals, and abstract art pieces.
“They are so excited to see these handmade sculptures,” Layton said about visitors to the Botanic Garden. “Some of them don’t even believe it is done with all hand tools.”
That’s why Layton and fellow sculptor, Passmore Mupindiko are on-site, carving art from blocks of stone.
“When I’m creating art I just feel really good,” Mupindiko said. “Like, ah, let me produce something that some people can also appreciate and can love as well.”
“It brings so much joy to me,” Layton said. “Cause that’s the way I express my feeling.”
The artists-in-residence give visitors a chance to see how the sculptures are made, from start to finish.
“23-years we’ve been touring with this exhibit to different botanic gardens,” Croisette said. “We like botanic gardens because the material is natural and we believe the material really does look wonderful in this kind of botanic setting.”
The art in ZimSculpt is for sale with a wide variety of price points. The exhibit runs through Sunday, March 30 at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and is free with the price of admission.