“LOVE is much more to life, then just words” sang the reggae artist Jah Cure in one of his songs titled Universal Signs of Love. He sang “When you love something love from the heart” and these words aptly describe Peter Kaunda’s affectionate love for art.
Kaunda known as the patron of the arts fell in love at a tender age such that he had to leave his Advertising profession to pursue art.
His love is not for visual arts only but art as a whole as he says “art is a powerful tool that can inflict into a person”
In his quest for the love of art Kaunda recently established a new state-of-the-art gallery called Artillery Gallery at number 72 Goldenstairs in Mt Pleasant, Harare in a move that is aimed at taking art to the elite part of the city.
So far he has hosted three exhibitions with the most recent one being a solo exhibition titled “The Old and The New” by rising artist Kudakwashe Dongo, who interrogates the effects of artificial hairs and the importance of womanhood.
In an interview with Celebrity, Kaunda, said his love and affection for art gave birth to Artillery Gallery.
He said he wanted the space to attract not only local artist but those in the diaspora to come and exhibit in Zimbabwe as much as they do their exhibitions in the outside world.
Kaunda said this will market and expand while adding exposure to arts industry in Zimbabwe which seen to have less recognition out its boundaries.
“How this space started was through my general appreciation for art and all facets of art. I love music, I love theatre and I do participate in backstage theatre, I love dance and I used to do morning classes with Tumbuka dance group and I love visual arts. Basically it all started from a general appreciation of art and I built it up to focus and concentrate on visual arts because I realized that throughout that facet locally it was the least recognized and it appeared not to be this lucrative locally yet internationally it is whole different story.
“I am not rich at all, I cannot afford to go to exhibitions international so I would love to see this great work but I do not have the ability to do so. I then said to myself why I cannot create a space that will convince foreign artists to come and exhibit in Zimbabwe. Art is the only profession in the world where you are expected and required to say your personal stuff and that is the power of art. I then realized that art is a special thing and this pushed me to establish this art gallery,” he said.
Kaunda said his hope are to retain the hope in the development of art and to make everyone have an appreciation on what art can impact on a person.
“Art when you look at it, it could actually inflict an emotional feeling just like what a bullet does hence the name Artillery. I then engaged to artist to come and exhibit at this space be I think it can tell then my level of appreciation for art. When I saw this space it interest for quite a number of reasons which are its surroundings with a lot of diplomats as we have a few embassies in this area.
“I believe in the corporate world and I believe that against the odds that we are going through, the middle class surrounding this space need to appreciate art just like what is being done internationally. They must establish a system that retains a middle class and that is why realize that me setting up a space will probably make people wonder what I am seeing in the development art,” he said.