Engaging the artwork in order to find the Meaning!!

Are you able to read and understand the message from the Image, Painting, and or Picture you see!!!



Petros Mwenga is a visual artist who was born and raised in Glen Norah A Harare, Zimbabwe. He studied Fine  art at Peter Birch Art school in 2005 to 2006, and Visual Art at National Arts gallery Visual Art Studios from 2006-2007. He mostly specializes in painting and drawings, his art is a form of communication just like other forms of Communications, and Social life commentary is his source of inspiration.

Petros regard himself as both a Fine Artist, Visual Artist, and a Painter because his work is both (Fine art & visual art). His work is not about hiding the message from the viewers, but to simplify it for the readers to make them come up with their own interpretation, though my real aim is to show them my interpretation.

My work is not about a particular theme or subject because l am mostly guided by inspiration and everything that transpires in the society, said Petros. The worrying factor here is that there re is a gap in the arts with certain artistic messages appears not  to have been documented (communicated) by the media, musicians, actors ,writers and other forms of arts, and that is where I stand as an individual artist, said Petros.

l don’t get worried when people interprets my work, especially in a positive way you know, yes sometimes I get to tell the message that my paintings conveys because it’s my form of language that sometimes other people might not be able to interpret or read. Petros’ aim as an artist is to make all his artworks easy and simple for the readers to engage with it in order to come up with their own meaning.

“My work is mostly mixed medium because it gives me room to experiment as my aim is to bring something new to the world and to surprise myself before anyone”, said Petros. The meaning behind, “It took the whole village to raise me” has to do with me been raised by my grandparents from my maternal side, and after they passed on my uncles took over the responsibility of raising me, said Petros. The other thing that affected my well-being  were Both the economic and financial constraints enabled the SOS to take over up to my college level, and after my research l have learned that it is so in many African children’s’ life.

Publisher you’re correct in your interpretation as there is a saying African believes that says, “It takes a village to raise a child”, so l am glad you have interpreted it that way for my aim was to show that in our African culture a child does not only belong to their biological parents only. l don’t know about myself been a well-known artist, but I’m glad if people see me that way, that is how Petros shot down insinuations about him been a popular artist. On the other hand, he indicated that in order to continue been relevant to the sector, he suggested that one need to keep on  researching , experimenting and striving for the best.

I am more understanding and regards criticisms in different levels, there is constructive criticism which is health for the growth of every artist. “l take what is best for me, and leaves out the negatives”, said Petros. The advent of technology has brought with it changes, both positive and negative ones, which impacted our artistic works in many ways. Now l can research easily and market my work without any challenges like before, it’s also easy to reach more people than before.

One of the memorable times in my life was after l won 1st Prize in a competition sponsored by the UNTED NATIONS in 2004, and best in show award ‘Black Like Us’ Exhibition. You see, I am motivated by the way I grew up, I because I always wanted to have a voice in the social space for those who are under privileged, said Petros!! The quality that I admire when l look at other artist work is the ability to tell their own stories, color and composition.

In the arts we always learn and improve on our artworks rather than labelling it the worst as that work that is regarded as such will not come to public sight ,its either I paint over it or put it away. What l have learnt is that enough research is essential to my work and to give myself enough time to create the work, said Petros.

My sincere and honest advice to the upcoming artists is that they should be resilience, persistence, research and experiment whatever they are passionate about. There is no limit to the arts, but our efforts determine how far we will go!!


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