“Mvula’s subject matter references his rural roots and includes depictions of cattle, traditional objects, African dress and the landscapes of northern Namibia.”
This is visible in this exhibition that showcases his body of work over the last ten years. Mvula’s continued interrogation into the figure of the cattle has highlighted its ability to be a metaphor for the society.
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In the Oongombe installation that is made up of 35 stone sculptures, representative of the heads of cattle was created over the period of a year. Mvula labored to create an impactful work that can be read as a metaphor for the Namibian people. He says
“Head is part of the body; the head is someone in charge of leading (a group), the head is the place of our mind and your mental abilities.” The heads have the ability to represent numerous things and my intention is to have massive production of heads of cattle, with my physical forces”
Mvula hopes to use the large installation to symbolize the Namibian nation as a herd that moves together and when one disrupt the flow for example not following road safety rules he can put the rest in danger.
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Alpheus Mvula is an accomplished Namibian artist specializing in sculpture and printmaking. He was born in 1972 at Oyovu village in northern Namibia. As a young adult, he relocated to Windhoek to pursue a career in art. He started at the John Muafangejo Arts Center between 1994 and 1999, he then went on to obtain a diploma in Visual Art from the College of the Arts (Windhoek, Namibia). The artist did not end there he attended the University of Namibia and later obtained a Diploma in printmaking and sculpture from the University of the Arts Bremen, Germany.
Alpheus Mvula has had numerous solo exhibitions and took part in numerous shows. His works form part of the collection of National Art Gallery of Namibia and Mal-Art in Wesel. He has been exhibited in countries such as the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Poland, and Denmark.
The exhibition will be on at the National Art Gallery of Namibia from 9 May to 22 June 2019 in the Main Gallery.
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Main image credit: FNCC