Claire Dongo

– Mixed –

“Art can aid to clarify some of the misconceptions that surround the future of work in a Green Economy
and highlight the positive aspects. The future is bright green and we should all be excited!”

What inspires you?

Claire Dongo
Location: Harare
Artwork statement: “My initial perspective was that the chatbot is replacing the human counterpart and creating unemployment. This is what the viewer can see from a distance, with the chatbot illustration almost covering the human support agent with harsh, dripping paint. But when one takes a closer look at the artwork, it is made up of smaller fragments of visuals that highlight the positive aspects of chatbots. The photomosaic technique involves the sampling and repurposing of found images to tell a different story as a group, which mimics recycling as an important aspect of the green movement.”

Q&A: 

  • What was your experience with art as a child and growing up?

As a child, I was creative and had an interest in drawing. But, the education system and general society did not accept art as a career path. I envied my friends who went to private schools, which offered art lessons. 

  • How did it evolve over time?

When I was 16, I spent a few months in England, where I finally got to speak with some art tutors. My view and direction changed when I enrolled in the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts. There, I discovered digital art and started to look at my immediate surroundings for inspiration.

  • Who or what influences your art? How would you like your art to influence others?

At ZIVA, I was inspired by founder and professor Saki Mafundikwa, whose work is inspired by his research on “Afrikan alphabets.” I hope that my work helps others to realize that art is a viable career choice and that art has the power to change the world in so many ways.

  • How do you define the following: Art? Sustainability? Zimbabwe?

I define art as anything creative that communicates beyond the traditional forms. Sustainability is the power of anything to continually evolve over time, adapting to the changes around it and staying alive in the world. Zimbabwe is a house of stone that has a reciprocal relationship with its dwellers: if they look after it, it will look after them, as well, until the end of time.

  • What is the best way for a viewer/reader to experience your art?

My work is visual, with a double perspective. It tells different stories from a distance versus up close. At a distance, the viewer sees one thing, and when the viewer moves closer they can see all these smaller things that comprise the larger thing.

  • What do you think sets you apart from other artists in Zimbabwe?

My ability to work both as an individual and within a team, my constant pursuit of criticism and knowledge, my realization that I’ll forever be a student, my hunger for adventure and how I’m constantly turning to my immediate surroundings for inspiration.

Artwork title: The many faces of green jobs