Kungoni Art Project - Malawi

Claude Boucher & Patricio Tambala Mponyani – St. John the Baptist

Malawi – Zomba Diocese – Lisanjala Parish – Mambo Outstation   In the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s Claude Boucher applied himself to the completion of wall paintings for humble outstations in remote parishes, where he gave Malawian identity to Gospel scenes more familiar under other dress. His collaborator in this work was Patricio…

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Jibu Sani – Processional Cross

Malawi – Dedza District – Mua Parish   Here we illustrate a simpler piece – by an artist whose acquaintance with Claude Boucher goes back to the earliest days of Kungoni Centre. Jibu Sani came from Zomba to become one of its first established artists and he taught his art to his large family, which…

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Leonard Chikasasa – Creation

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   Leonard Chikasasa’s association with Claude Boucher predates the establishment of Kungoni Centre in 1976. This panel, together with his fine depiction of the Risen Christ, were originally the only decorative devices in the parish church. Against a characteristic background of geometric patterns, applied directly…

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Thomas Mpira – Lectern (Holy Trinity)

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   This is the first example (in this collection) of a number of intricately carved wooden lecterns by the artists of Kungoni Centre that have found their way to churches around the world. Here Thomas Mpira reflects on the creative power of the Holy Trinity…

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Ismael Mulera – Mother & Child

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   It is appropriate that an image of Mother & Child should stand at the front of the church on the side where the women sit. At Mary’s feet rests a mtondo: the mortar for pounding maize, which represents the life of the household. It…

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Claude Boucher & Patricio Tambala Mponyani – Women’s Work

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   These wall paintings are applied to the side of the church where the women sit and evoke their world. This has a double effect: even though in the presence of God, the congregation does not feel too far removed from its usual setting, and…

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James Samikwa – God Our Mother

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   High over the nave of the church hangs James Samikwa’s depiction of God Our Mother. God – Chauta (one of several Chewa names for God) is depicted, as often in Kungoni art, concealed behind a mask, which suggests here a smiling mother who extends…

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Mwadza Maleka – Nativity

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   We will enter the church tomorrow… However, as today is the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord, we will celebrate by introducing the first of many Kungoni Nativities. This is an early attempt, which was made for the parish by Mwadza Maleka and…

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Claude Boucher & Joseph Kadzombe – The Visitation

Malawi – Dedza Diocese – Mua Parish – Parish Church   This is Claude Boucher’s companion piece to Mary Help of Christians and is placed to the right of the West door. The Gospel account of the Visitation is brought to life in strong African colours and dress. Malawians, unlike so many in richer countries,…

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