The work shown at the current exhibition of the Bulawayo Art Club sustains a higher general level of quality than in most previous years.
Competence is evident; the disappointment is that there is not much work to delight the senses or to challenge the imagination.
One makes allowance for the fact that most of the exhibitors are amateurs and unable to devote the time they might like to the refinement of their skill.
Many fine painters, though, started late in life, and many had little or no formal instruction.
Lack of space unfortunately precludes discussion of all the work, and some general comment will have to suffice.
Among some careful, but mostly routine local landscapes, G.F. Beale’s Rhodesian Winter stood out with its fine sense of space, pleasure in colour and skilled application of paint.
S.A.C. Boncey’s pieces in the same genre gave some pleasure, and an expert ink drawing by Ivy May deserves attention.
Bob Otten’s scenes look strangely jaded after some of the venturesome work he has previously shown.
The portraits were all technically unexceptional. Most painters were content, however, to render the head with little attempt at making a complete painting.
Helen Browne and Mrs. K. J. Valentine achieved unsentimental characterizations; Pamela Byford-Jones and R.G. Anderson incorporated a degree of drama in the portraits they showed.
Other items of interest are Dora Lazarus’ imaginatively conceived abstract, The Beginning; Stephen Blake’s meticulous Study of Glass; Lynessa Austen’s portrait of Anne; W.B. Place’s three paintings, and Maurice Bennett’s wry Reclining Figure, the only sculpture on exhibition.