Simon Kavanze Machire


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Voiceless by Simon Kavanze Machire

Shona Stone Sculpture

Type of Stone: Green Serpentine Stone

Dimensions: 17 x 9 x 4 inches

The Sculpture is inspired by the sad revelation of a patriarchal society where women are treated as second class citizens. This is a woman whose defenses have been neutralized by the laws of her own country. She has been isolated from the world and permanently silenced. With her gaze lowered and kneeling, her fate now lies in the hands of her masters.

Simon Kavanze Machire

Simon was born in 1969. His father was Angolan and a wood carver who made ceremonial masks and made a name for himself within the Tengenenge Art Community, through his distinctive Yao Art. It was through his father that he got to appreciate the relationship between life and nature and the spiritual aspect of the Mbunda people in Angola, and, the Shona and Kore Kore people in Zimbabwe.

As a young boy, Simon helped his father and effortlessly grasped the techniques of stone carving. After the death of his parents in a tragic car crush, young Simon was taken under the wings of Fanizani Akuda. After finishing his secondary education Simon went on to live with Erimas Mudiwa, also a renowned artist whom he worked with for four years. In 1990 he became a professional sculptor based at Tengenenge. His work is characterized by animal and human figures and his spiritual influences easily recognizable in the sculptures. He was invited a guest artist in Holland, Italy and Germany in 1993 and again in Holland in 1999.


Every sculpture is made from natural stone and varies slightly due to the nature of the stone and natural grain which is part of the stone. Some stones will contain inclusions, pits, or fissures as a result of its geological formation. The natural recurring iron/seaweed strata lines in the stone give the stone its character and makes it unique.

Natural lines are colorful lines formed within the stone. These are not flaws, but rather signifies the authenticity of the product. Only skilled sculptors are able to work with the stone due its hardness. The stone can withstands harsh weather conditions and can be placed in a natural environment.


NOTE: Typically your sculpture will ship within 2-3 days after you've placed your order.

What are Shona Sculptures?

The most dedicated of artists display a high degree of integrity, never copying and still working entirely by hand, with spontaneity and a confidence in their skills, unrestricted by externally imposed ideas of what their "art" should be. Now, over fifty years on from the first tentative steps towards a new sculptural tradition, many Zimbabwean artists make their living from full-time sculpting and the very best can stand comparison with contemporary sculptors anywhere else.

The sculpture they produce speaks of fundamental human experiences - experiences such as grief, elation, humor, anxiety, and spiritual search - and has always managed to communicate these in a profoundly simple and direct way that is both rare and extremely refreshing.

The artist 'works' together with his stone, and it is believed that 'nothing which exists naturally is inanimate' - it has a spirit and life of its own. One is always aware of the stone's contribution in the finished sculpture and it is indeed fortunate that in Zimbabwe a magnificent range of stones are available from which to choose: hard black springstone, richly colored serpentine and soapstones, firm grey limestone and semi-precious Verdite and Lepidolite.


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Where the Stone is Found

The typical Shona stone is an abundant material in Zimbabwe, with much of the stone coming from the counties “Great Dyke”. This geological formation which stretches along Lake Kariba on Zimbabwe's southern border with Zambia contains some 375 minerals plus fossils dating back 500 million years ago

Shona sculptures come in many shapes and sizes, as they are usually carved from pieces of stone that vary considerably. The stones most often used in Shona sculpture are sandstone, serpentine and granite.

How The Sculptures Are Created