I am traditional Shona stone sculptor from Zimbabwe; I learnt my craft at Silveira House Mission Chishawasha and later at Chapungu Sculpture Park east of Harare under the tutelage of the late internationally acclaimed sculptor Amos Supuni. I work predominantly in stone, wood and metal and whilst my work is rooted in traditional Shona forms and techniques, my sculptures reflect different cultural influences and my personal experience. Embodied in my work is a tradition of ancestral storytelling passed down through generations of the Shona speaking people of Zimbabwe. Much of my work responds to forms and movement I find in the natural environment, but my sculptures also speak of my experiences and my personal spiritual beliefs. Since arriving in the UK I have become increasingly interested in exploring themes of displacement and uncertainty, accident and encounter, and what it means to belong. Besides working in stone, wood and metal in the past few years I have experimented with other materials, including snow – avoiding a fixed method of working and continually challenging myself to innovate. My current works comment on social issues such as poverty, desperation and migration. If it had not been for my own persistence, my journey to becoming an artist almost certainly wouldn’t have happened. I had a passion for art in my younger years but didn’t go to art school. Instead I went to church, which turned out to be my circuitous route into becoming an artist and sculptor. On my way to church at Silveira House Catholic Mission I would pass through the workshop of the late Internationally acclaimed artist / sculptor Amos Supuni. As an untrained youngster I would drop in and ask about learning sculpture and whether I could become his apprentice. For a long time Amos refused to entertain the idea, until one day my persistence finally wore him down and he eventually agreed to me becoming his apprentice. I worked for Amos for three years and it was the best apprenticeship in Shona stone sculpting that any young man could have dreamt of. In 1998 I helped him produce a series of new work commissioned by the new Atlanta Airport in Georgia, USA. Since those early days I have been following the legacy of my ancestors. Passing on the tradition of Shona stone sculpting from one generation to the next. Keeping alive the tradition of making handmade carvings the way our ancestors did centuries ago.For me this is natural and something I must do. Preserving the uniquely African Shona stone sculptural heritage that has endured for centuries. And even though I am interested in developing new styles and fusing traditional techniques with the modern, my heart will also be true to that great heritage that I was born into. Shona stone sculpting is in my blood! St Leonards On Sea, East Sussex