Leonard Sezhendo

Biography

Leonard is one of Zimbabwe's most dedicated sculptors, living and working in the rural area outside the city of Harare. He displays a high degree of integrity by successfully creating his own unique style, working entirely by hand, unrestricted by externally imposed ideas of what his "art" should be. We are now over fifty years on from the first tentative steps towards a new sculptural tradition, and he is one of many Zimbabwean artists make their living from full-time sculpting. The very best can stand proudly in comparison with contemporary sculptors anywhere in the world. The sculptures Leonard produces speak of fundamental human experiences related to the family unit. Warmth, love and playfulness is communicated in a profoundly simple and direct way that is both rare and extremely refreshing. He works together with his stone, it is strongly believed in Shona culture that nothing which exists naturally is inanimate - it has a spirit and life of its own, therefore one is always aware of the stone's contribution to the finished sculpture. Leonard works mainly with the indigenous, hard, dark Springstone, achieving colour variations in shades of grey depending on his tools.