Rwandan artist takes on sculpting - The East African

Rwandan artist takes on sculpting

Saturday May 11 2019

Jean Marie Vianney Safari with one of his sculptures of Inyambo. PHOTO | ANDREW I. KAZIBWE

Jean Marie Vianney Safari with one of his sculptures of Inyambo. PHOTO | ANDREW I. KAZIBWE 

ANDREW I KAZIBWE
By ANDREW I KAZIBWE
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Few artists in Rwanda are sculptors, and Jean Marie Vianney Safari, 28 is one of the few giving it a try.

Safari’s house, located in Kicukiro district in Kigali, doubles up as his studio and workshop. The walls of his house are adorned with sculptures.

After completing an art course at Ecole D’Arts De Nyundo of Rubavu district in 2015, Safari chose to specialise in sculpting.

In addition to being a sculptor, Safari also paints using acrylics and digitally. Painting is more marketable locally, and with sculpting requiring an investment of at least Rfw300,000 ($330) per project, he has other ways of making a living.

One of Jean Marie Vianney Safari's wood sculptures. PHOTO | ANDREW I. KAZIBWE

One of Jean Marie Vianney Safari's wood sculptures. PHOTO | ANDREW I. KAZIBWE

Safari’s painting style is realism. Most of his paintings look like large black and white photographs.

Safari says sculpting is expensive, both in materials and time. It requires materials like metals, specific woods, tools and a spacious work space. He uses cement, steel bars, wood, stones among other materials.

One of his pieces is of Inyambo (long-horned cattle), which is supported by a metal stand. This piece, which is made out of cement, wire mesh and glue, is coated with golden yellow and black paint.

Safari’s sculptures can be found at the Kigali Arts Centre in Kicukiro and the Inshuti Art centre in Musanze district. He hopes to grow his name beyond Rwanda’s borders.