Andamiyo Chihota was born 1976 in Chitungwiza. His family later moved to Guruve, a rural region with a rich stone-sculpting tradition, where he started carving at the age of 13. He attributes his father, Luke Chihota, with sparking and nurturing his talent. Andamiyo was also inspired by the late Henry Munyaradzi, one of the founders of Shona art movement, who he visited regularly as a young boy. After he left school, Andamiyo began an ap-prenticeship with his cousin Edronce Rukodzi (an internationally acclaimed sculptor) who introduce him to the Tengenenge Art community. By the age of 17, he was carving full time. Andamiyo finds inspiration from several sources and he become most well-known for his renderings of birds, animals and depictions of Shona people. “My Sculptures show my respect for the African wildlife and for the cul-tural values of the people,” he explains. He selects his stones with great care, favouring the exceptionally beauti-ful fruit serpentine from one particular Quarry near Guruve. All Andamiyo distinctive sculptures bear his artistic signature delicately decorated eyes. Eyes, he explains, express what is inside, as they look out on the world. His work is expressive, contemplative and beautifully crafted. Paramount in his process is finding the “balance” in a piece of stone and of the importance of detail in the finish. Although Andamiyo is still a member of the Ten-genenge Art community, he felt that relocating to Harare would heighten the exposure of his work. There he worked along his older brother Singi and two cousins, in an urban outdoor studio. In 2002, he was invited to St Andreasberg in Germany, where he participated in a group exhibition and gave sculpting workshops. He participated in major group shows of Shona sculptures, most notably at the museum of Fine Arts in San Diego, California. His sculptures have sold to collectors in Holland, Germany, Belgium, the UK, USA and Canada. He is also rep-resented by Sankaranka Gallery in Mew York City. Andamiyo travelled to Canada in 2006 as a guest-in-residence for Shona D’Afrique II in Montreal and for rice lake VII, the seventh annual outdoor exhibition of Sho-na sculptures hosted by Zimart. He also led a sculpting workshop in rice Lake Gallery, which was enthusiastical-ly received by his students. Andamiyo spends the summer of 2008 in Germany. He led a workshop in Skulp-turengalerie Sylt, an Island in the Northern sea, and in San Franconia, and two other galleries: Into Africa and Atelier Rap in Obervolkach.
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