Hello Good people, allow me to intoduce myself, My name is Eugene Shirto, The short guy in the photo, yes that’s me with the shades on. My 1st post on here was deleted in error. So sorry if i dint get to respond to alot of your questions. My grammar may be a little rough & off a little here. I was born at Richard Morris in 26th August 1977, Baptized aged 6 by Father Rowland at St Andrews Roman Catholic Church, just off the airport road. I grew up on Fortris juice, Cashew nuts, Casino Chocolates golden Morn, ProNutro & alot of Sugar cane. We danced at Christmas parties for smarties or 50cents to Boney M” & Grease, Don Williams & John Denver are deeply engrained into my DNA.

Went to primary school, Hugh beadle Grade 1- 2, then onto Newmansford grade 3 – 7.
Completed my secondary education at Northlea High, we forged lifelong friendships thats what molded us into who we are today.

In this Pic below mid 1990s from your left to Derick Shelton , myself,to my right, The late Jerome Titley behind me with the peace sign✌🏽, Beven Payne & Lawrence Rajah Northlea boys! till this day we are sort of all connected and alive thanks to social media.

Wasnt a big fan of school, went to school more to socialise, and was a bit of a problem with the ladies, hence i failed dismally haha man what a ride!! .. , I messed up big time with school, we even joked about getting a “U” stood for “Unbelievable! in our final O’level results🤪. Once all the chynnahs from, Northend, Sauerstown, then the charasmatic, mischievous lot from Queens park west & East Boys all left Northlea High, we all separated & went our own ways through life , alot travelled to SA, the America’s & Europe, others passed away from Natural ailments, murdered, Stabbings and car accidents.
These special close friends i have named some taken suddenly whilst in our 20s. Gone too soon and not to be forgotten

RIP Eugene Brandt
RIP Jerome Titley
RIP Frank Lees
RIP Samantha Fisher
RIP Anthony Bennet
RIP Felix Vickery
RIP Eddy (Mhlanga) Reid Jnr
RIP Oswin Chinyoka(sp)

To only name a few these are the only ones I am able to remember. They are sadly missed
Growing up in Queens Park was a bizarre mystical, haphazard & strange experience , from watching bare knuckle Fights under the queens park west bustop besides a streetlight , to the Big Roundabout bike races, with Fix or Peri bicycles many injuries ” we were Gladiators! .to getting sozzled on DonJuan or Chibuxx & sometimes alot of Ouzo or Montello, The bulk of the local shops Were owned or run by a Greek guy called Costa. Hence i think the shop was called Costas🙄 Then later MSA Superette. Run by Manuel & his Wife Maria. There used to be massive big green rugged ole tool box under a acacia tree on the path heading towards Frere road. It was always locked.so we used it as a gathering spot and sat ontop of it. At the back of the shops was a park, with swings and a slide.
On leaving School, i worked briefly with Nathan Greenland and Fazil Greenland, lathe machining metal products n stuff, they had a converted extension attached to their house for a workshop.just over the railway line After Ainsley Road.
Buckley Rd, Conway Rd, Dane Rd, Elsley, Frere (my road) , Greedon Harrow & so on

Moved On to work for Mr Bazil J. Katz at Marvo Printers situated in Thorngrove, Waverley Rd as a 2D artist in the art studio for about 4 yrs , worked alongside Larry Muller, he got me that job , Bonang Mlilo & Jeremy Mckop, between that of turning 21 yrs old, working & been big headed, my then Girlfriend & i set off, eloped to Vic Falls, got Married & by the 11th month had the marriage annulled through the courts fell out of love… Not long got a job in Harare, moved there worked with Maxwell Kay Chabika for Mr Ken Spencer, Xpert Printers as a plate maker in the darkroom. Graniteside on Seke road early 2000

Left for London 2001, stayed in Addiscombe,, moved South London, West Croydon, then moved to Stratford Eastlondon. Worked as a labourer in Construction taught all the tricks of the trade by at the time he was 70yrs old, British Royal Air Force( RAF) Engineer named Mr John Peters, Married to Eileen. Worked from Brixton to knightsbridge and Chelsea all the way up to Poplar & Whitechapel, to Lewisham, site banksman at Canary Wharf, then a traffic wiring techy at the Barbican and Farringdon. Then worked for London Underground as a labourer , got a job part time Bellboy at The MaryGreen Manor In Brentwood, Essex. Then got permanently Employed at Marks&Spencer (Romford) with Joe Styrka for 8yrs, 17 years later returned Back to settle in Queens Park West, Bulawayo.

I am a self taught mixed media artist /Carpenter , well ive always thought of myself an artist, ive exhibited t a few small gallery’s & festivals across Central to West London to Vauxhall, Elephant & Castle, just that now I now make a living soley from selling my art woodwork, i drive a light Blue 1974 Corolla Named Agnes, I am happier now in Bulawayo, i figured its not where you are that matters its about what you doing with where you are that counts. Bulawayo isnt just a city its Alive!! and has hidden gems like Northlea High if you care to look close enough youl find me too haha. I am the only person i know that can proudly say I’ve eaten fire roasted Cane rats (mbebah) at Renkini (Byo) near The Blue Lagoon (Thorngrove) to dining at the Ritz eating one of Londons finest prepared cuisines, To sitting on the 1230 over head rail service from Kingscross to Birmingham to sitting in a tshova heading home after a long day of looking for car parts at Barons, these experiences happend in a space of 44 yrs of my existence. Thanks for reading.

I create art by using dried up palm tree casks to make Elephant heads. Which i have now turned into Wall art and a few are now Lampshades. Some are squank and so Picasso like & fun to look at 😁😁 , yet still resemble an Elephants head🐘. So Next time you are out and about in Nature or your garden, look closely at any old pieces of wood, pine cones, dried out pods, seeds etc..their not fire wood, pick it up! Clean it up,work on it a little. Its Therapeutic and self rewarding.

If you like seeing my artwork please Share kindly so others can maybe see my work , as it may encourage or inspire whoever reads this to go and get a little crafty outdoors🐘🐘

recycledart #StopBurningStuff #artwork #Bulawayo #palmtreeart #selftherapy #savetheplanet #savetheelephants #sculptureartist #gardenart

Charlene McCullagh – Author/Artist

Beyond the bridge, the city bids us another goodnight with no promise to return to how it used to be…its autumn now, so darkness comes earlier…everyday the sun says goodnite, sometimes quietly behind the clouds or other times with a majestic display of colour across the sky… today it’s an orange and yellow, golden blast that streaks across the skies after a heavy storm… breaking through the dark menacing clouds and the heavy energy of covid fears and conspiracies … the city in the skyline stands tall, silent sentinels side by side, each distinctive in their unique shape…streets sparkle with silver and gold, after been washed clean by the rain, the colours dance on the window panes…from a distance the dark brooding city is momentarily lit with bronze and gold and copper…so still the city continues to slumber, corporate buildings standing quiet and empty for so long…But wait, look over here on this side of the bridge…food shops spill out with fresh vegetables from afar, and exotic sweet smelling fruit. Romanian, Polish, Greek delicatessens side by side with Albanian and Somalian male only coffee shops, Turkish barbers and takeaways, in-between Indian shops stuffed with everything a bazaar or souk would have…all sorts of things, if you follow the road over the bridge…this vibrant street full of chatter and characters isn’t locked down completely…Buses flash by full and the central line is full…everyone masked and silent, watching each other warily…thinking about two meters, but once on the tube it’s more like twenty centimetres…got to get to work… there’s no suits and heels insight, briefcases replaced by tool bags,high vis. hard boots or trainers …the ones who keep the city going…the ones that have to make the new normality work…sleeping city when will you awaken because we haven’t slept say the slumped sleepy bodies in the seats, as the train rattles and shakes at high speed into the city…brakes squealing in protest into the station, getting the masked passengers to their destinations…back and forth…to and fro…lockdown…

COVID in the City…when everything became silent, the streets emptied…the buildings stood silent…

Walking around the still streets, bumping into the odd homeless person, looking for a spare bit of change in order to meet up with the others at the local park and share their bounty…

Or, maybe a family of rats just strolling along on the pavement without a care in the world…

With the pollution lifted away, the stars twinkled down from velvet midnight blue skies… or sometimes a brilliant blue summer-night sky..free from the normal air traffic, the strawberry moon rose majestically loud and proud…unbelievably red orange pink, a huge ball… magnificent so, so breathtaking…heavy and hot, an explosive blast of red fiery passion totally dominated the city’s skyline…

This is the beginning and completed trio for my Strawberry moon series 2020❤️🙏 PS had to show by day light and by nite as the colours change 😍

Caleeny Nzvengende was born in Rusape, Zimbabwe. He started drawing at a very young age.With no formal art education, He just continued to get better.

” I kept on improving just based on the passion I had for art.”

As a child, he drew cartoons; however, he became more interested in depicting cars and wildlife as he got older.

“I grew up using both graphite and color pencils, but I fell in love with coloured pencils at secondary school. It became my favourite medium. I was enthralled by how colors would pop up, visualising the artwork into reality all with my pencils.”

He qualified and taught as a Teacher. But in 2018, at 25, he chose to specialize in art as a career. Realism is his favourite subject. He started drawing Portraits. Later, he decided to specialize in wildlife, and it has inspired him to become interested in their conservation and not just be able to portray their beauty.

I have partnered with 515 luxury tours as the leading artist, and I have also exhibited at Wild Geese Artfest. I hope to raise awareness about wildlife conservation through my work and show the world the beauty of nature and wildlife.

One thing I have noticed about creating artwork is that when you start on a piece of work, at the beginning, it never looks like the final piece!

It starts as a thought, an idea, a concept, inspiration, then a blank sheet of paper, canvas, or computer screen, and so on (depending on what you create with). There is always a process to it and it takes time, patience and effort to get to the end result.

Maybe there are times when you stop to check if it is working out just the way you envision it, maybe you make a few adjustments and corrections. Maybe sometimes you put it away for a while to work on later. Perhaps sometimes you are not happy with the way it is going and feel it necessary to start all over again! It’s all part of a process.

I imagine life is like a work of art!
Our individual lives are like works of art in the making, be it paintings, or drawings, sculptures and so on. We are all like individual artists that have the material before us, perhaps a blank sheet of paper, canvas or clay to mould, or even a boulder to chip away at and we can make a beautiful piece of art with our lives. We all have different styles and expressions, and we are all unique! Although, one thing is for sure, at the begining, it never really looks like the end result!

I imagine that as we go through life, all the emotions and experiences we go through, every act of kindness, every decision to be horrible or nice, every smile, every tear, every heart we touch and are touched by, every relationship we build or tear down, every time we pick ourselves up after we fall, every life we touch or change, all these are like the creative process on a work of art, it could be brush strokes on a painting, a portion of rendering on a drawing, clay being shaped or the chipping away on a boulder that will be an awesome sculpture! One day when it is all said and done, our work of art will sit in the “heart galleries” of every person that knew us!

The question then is, what kind of “life artwork” are we creating with the material we have been given?

The process of creating art is a journey, just as life is a journey and a process. We learn and grow and make mistakes along the way. There is always room to stop and have a look at the process and restart or adjust!

I had a very thought provoking conversation with someone recently and he reminded me that, in our life’s journey, sometimes it is good to take a look back and see how far we have come!

How true this is!

Wherever we are in our life’s journey may we take the time to look back and be thankful for how far we have come rather than focus too much on how life isn’t looking the way we want it to!

It’s a journey. Life is like a work of art, what are we creating?

You were born in Zimbabwe, what are your childhood memories of growing up there

My childhood memories are generally pleasant although they consisted of boarding school which was eight months of the year from the age of five! School holidays were the best, we lived mostly in the country with very little of the modern distractions .. what more with a loving mother and close siblings!

What schools did you attend in Zimbabwe and was school an enjoyable time for you, if not, why not

I attended Embakwe Mission School in Plumtree Zimbabwe. The School was on a farm and was mostly i would say ok, tolerable to fairly ok except for the diet…. I must add though, if there was a big picture to be looked at, Embakwe undoubtedly laid a solid foundation , cementing independence, strength and character.

Were your talents recognised early by your teachers and if so, can you remember any that had a particular influence on you

My talents were recognized all through my schooling , from the sports field to the art room I was given the opportunity to excel. I remember winning an art competition when I was in standard five, the prize was a Reeves water colour set which is sill in my possession 50years later, the tin case that is! this was a particular milestone that made art a savour to my life’s “ palette “ if I may mention, Paul Chetty my art teacher had a lot to do with the wealth of encouragement I received.

Being an Artist, as a career – was this always the dream

Being an artist as a career was always my dream but of course something frowned upon as unsubstantial leading me to deviate into other fields until realizing that I’m an artist and need to take the bull by the horns and fully immerse myself into art.

Can you describe the creative process

This I would say is the most engaging and fulfilling, if you’re a writer a musician or a chef or deeply creative in anyway, you’ll understand when I say that there is a particular time in the composition the parcel arrives and this is where one gets the revelation as it were, where time is immaterial and a birthing takes place! the only challenge is to know when to stop, it always needs a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon.

Tell me about the first time you saw your art on a Gallery wall and can you describe that feeling

The first time I saw my art on a gallery wall was when I had a one man exhibition at the Standard bank in Zimbabwe. The feeling and sense of “at last “ best describes the moment.

What is a message you would give aspiring artist

For young and aspiring artists and for anyone for that matter, there is a knowing inside of everyone, follow it… if you “know” that you’re an artist, be one. Forget stereotypes, you’ll find out that as much as you need to learn , so do you need to unlearn! Then, be teachable you’ll never know enough.

What would you be doing now, if you were not an artist

If I wasn’t following my current art career, I’d for following my former career. Optical instrument technician.

Where has your art been displayed and what venues excited you most

My art has been displayed in a few, not many local galleries, not much to say about the gallery world as yet, I sell most of my work privately.

How do you feel the internet has impacted the art industry

I do feel that the internet has a great impact on art, I’m guilty of not doing enough in that space.

What is. the biggest life lesson you have learned

My biggest life lesson is Grace, which is best described by explaining what mercy is.. mercy is not being punished for doing something wrong because someone has had mercy on you. Grace is mercy plus benefits of promotion besides yourself ! In life I’ve found that the more I extend that to another it’s highly fulfilling , live and let live.

What is the best advice you’ve been given

The best advice I’ve been given, or alternatively what I’ve learnt is, wait long and hard if necessary before acting, there are consequences of one nature or the other.

If you could change anything in the art industry, what would it be

If I could change anything in the art industry it would be a wish, a wish for more spotters with large wings. There’s a lot of talent out there that would do with assistance, a sponsor for at least one major exhibition to an assessed and well deserving talent.

What difference has COVID19 made to your life?

The current COVID situation initially gave me a break that was well needed, but I’m back to play again , currently doing a large Victoria Falls for a client.