ResiliArt Illustration contest exhibits young talent

Imagine a world without music to comfort, uplift, inspire and give you hope! A world without drama, film, paintings or sculptures to extend your imagination! No poetry to ask the difficult questions! No literature and no craft!

As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is need to spare a thought for the artists. The creative minds behind the art that we enjoy every day. They rely on crowds but with the lockdown restrictions, they cannot pull the crowds at least for now. They showcase and sell their artefacts and paintings in and around tourist areas, but they cannot do it now.

Rudo Tuhwe (25) from Zimbabwe bemoans the impact of COVID-19 on young artists especially as the enforced lockdowns have seen closure of cultural spaces.

Counting the missed opportunities, Rudo, a final year medical student at the University of Zimbabwe and avid visual artist said she had planned to exhibit her artworks at local galleries but it has not been possible due to the lockdown.

Rudo was among 200 talented young and emerging illustrators who took part in the ResiliArt Illustration contest conducted by the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa and the Blazer magazine. Entrants submitted traditional illustrations (pencil, charcoal, pen, ink, etc.) and modern illustration (digital art, vector graphics etc.), with narratives that demonstrated the power of art and creativity in the face of challenges posed by COVID-19.

Rudo’s winning entrant, “Dia-login” was inspired by how the pandemic has erected “what feels like walls of oceans between loved ones”. Using fabric dye, manila, white tape and coloured pencils, Rudo created and integrated a canvas, reflective of the diversity of communication channels that together keep us coupled to our families and friends.