My name is Stephen Watts.

My background is multidisciplinary.

(My website)

I am a sculptor, from a third generation line of sculptors.

For the last 3 years I have been building links with artists and musicians in Zimbabwe, inspired by the rich tradition of the arts out there. I have lived for almost a year in Zimbabwe with the Shona people in the traditional ways, mostly in the rural areas and chitungwisa, and have spent about 1 month living in Tengenenge sculpture community.

The popularity of Zimbabwean Sculpture has been through many fluctuations. It is my belief that the  sculpture movement in Zimbabwe is still one of the strongest sculpture movements in the world. It demonstrates a truth to material, it has beauty and meaning. The artists put their heart and soul into what they create. There is a culture around it, and everywhere people are carving stone. Sculpture is part of the life and blood of the Zimbabwean people.

I am aware that there is so much creativity as a whole that is unable to find expression in Zimbabwe, due to the isolation of the country as a whole. I consistently experienced the lack of opportunity for great talent to be recognised. I intend to be a bridge to help this expression get out there to the wider world.

I have begun a small venture in 2018, importing 40 small sculptures to the UK from Tengenenge to create a gallery, host exhibitions and through the sale of sculpture help raise money for the artists and promote their work, supporting the sculpture village as a whole so that it can continue into the future, being a hub of traditional culture and art. and bring funds to the artists who live and work at Tengenenge to keep the village alive as an Arts community.

The financial situation in Zimbabwe is such that most people only earn less than 5 dollars for a day’s work.
I am extremely impressed by the skills and imagination of the sculptors of zimbabwe,
and the challenge that they currently face in selling their work and getting it recognized.

My intention is to travel back to Zimbabwe to make interviews with the sculptors, take more photos of their work and build a professional website to showcase their work.

With the new political changes occurring in Zimbabwe, we have the opportunity to
support a new wave of creative change coming into the country through promotion of the
arts and culture of Zimbabwe.