Johnson Zuze, a Zimbabwean artist located in the capital Harare has mastered creating valuable art using scrap metal and waste while combating pollution.
He moves around to pick range of waste that includes electronic gadgets, tins, wood and metal which makes up major component in forming sculptures whose subjects range from animals to abstract forms.
“I am a mixed media visual artist and I work with waste material which I recycle to create different pieces of art. The idea behind my style is to convey different social messages using waste material that I collect from dumpsites or even in the streets,” he said.
Starting out as an artist was not easy; Zuze says his parents discouraged him and tried pushing him to become a doctor instead.
By collecting junk in the street, Zuze attest to promoting a clean environment and recycling culture that can help address the country’s waste burden.
“I’m part of a network of artists from Pretoria, Maputo, Johannesburg and Harare whose collective aim is to find creative ways and means to preserve the environment by using waste and material to create art. So I try to bring back to life objects and materials that have been thrown away and I equate that to representing the downtrodden people in society,” said Zuze.
His prolific pieces of art has earned him awards and international recognition. In last year, he won the country’s National Art Merit Awards (NAMA).
The artist works closely with the Delta Gallery in Harare which sells his art. The sculptures cost anything from 100 to 500 US dollars.