Artist, mentor and teacher, Thomas Kubayi is a passionate man. Inspired by his dreams for the future of the youth and traditional craftsmanship, he built and developed Vhutsila school for the arts in Tshivuyuni village, to retain the knowledge-base of creating wooden sculptures, musical instruments, traditionally-built furniture and crafts.
He listens intently to the wood, hearing the story buried beneath the surface and he coaxes it to the surface, cutting away the excess until it emerges.
Lovers in a covid-conscious community turn masked faces to each other from a distance. A father with a mask is weak and his son is hungry…they don’t even recognise each other any more. Another figure represents the universal psyche...Corona is driven so deep into our minds, that long after the disease recedes, the effects will stay in our psyche forever.
For Thomas, Teak has a certain sound like a drum, with deep echoes, while Leadwood’s sound is tight. He never goes against nature...even with cracks in the wood which he sees as beautiful pathways leading the artist where he needs to go. Each piece tells a story...This champion of the arts is determined to make miracles happen in spite of the pandemic which has left him without an income but never without hope.
“When I make Art it is a story, because I don’t have time to write… If you use a machine, you lose your mind.. it is too fast, but when you are using a chisel, you think more deeply.” Thomas Kubayi