Hedmark Kunstsenter in Hamar, Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo – both in Norway, and Zambia National Visual Arts Council (VAC) in Zambia have co-operated within a cultural exchange agreement for over eight years now. During this period of time, this cultural exchange agreement funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development (NORAD) has facilitated artistic projects and exchange of artists between Norway and Zambia. In Norway, Hedmark Kunstsenter and the Fine Arts Academy have played hosts for various cultural exchange activities. While in Zambia, VAC at its various Provincial Art Centres in Livingstone, Chipata, Ndola, Lusaka’s Henry Tayali Visual Arts Centre and through the Mobile International Artists Workshop have reciprocated hosting of these artistic activities.
Linda Chandia was born in 1968 in Kitwe town on the Copper-belt Province of Zambia. Like other artists in this show, she is proud to state that her interests in art begun at an early age by observing her traditional potter grandmother and her uncle, the well known sculptor, Flinto S. Chandia. With this artistically rich background, she also seriously took art lessons throughout her secondary school education. She graduated with distinctions in art from Luanshya Girls Secondary School in1987. At this point, Linda Chandia had already decided on an artistic career, and began training at Africa Literature Centre in Kitwe her birthplace. In 1989, she graduated with a diploma in art and design which, in 1990 earned her a job as a Graphic Designer with the Zambia Daily mail in Lusaka.
Tessie Lombe Lusale An’gole who was born in 1972 comes from the Bemba speaking group of people from Northern Province of Zambia. She is proud to have an artist uncle, Patson Lombe, prominent painter, in Zambia he is considered as one of the few indigenous pioneers of the contemporary art scene from the 1960s. Her work also refers to the Mbusa Ceremony, not in its singular context but rather in terms of a transgressed cultural recuperation reflecting multiple ethnicity.That is to say, she studied at the British International School in New Delhi, India. After six years of secondary school education far away from home, she returned to Zambia and took an Art Teachers’ Diploma course at the Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce in Lusaka, graduating in 1990.
Vandita Varjangbhay was born in Lusaka in 1972 and attended Namalundu Secondary School. She then moved from Zambia to India where she studied for a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) degree focusing on painting and pottery at the Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S. University of Baroda. As keen an artist, as she had always been from the start of her course, Vandita Varjangbhay proceeded on to study for her Masters Degree at the same University in Baroda. Although she concentrated her efforts on painting as a major, Vandita Varjangbhay’s cultural awareness has been influenced by the several places and cultural spaces she has inhabited before. Her work reflects the rich cultural traditions of Zambia, India and Mauritius, places and peoples’ culture that she has come to understand as she has lived them. Currently, Vandita Varjangbhay lives in Lusaka and works as a Lecturer at the Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce. In addition, she is an active practising and exhibiting artist at home and abroad.
Sylvia Shichongo Mwando was born in 1975 in Lusaka Province and went to Matero Girls Secondary School where she obtained a certificate at the close of 1995. She then proceeded on to do a course in graphic and design offered at the Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka. Sylvia Mwando has been a keen follower of the developing art scene in Zambia, as a member of a group of promising and enthusiastic young women who are fully engaged in the notion of discovering a language in painting, a language to enable them construct an ideology of their own. Since 1996, she has worked as a research assistant at the VAC Documentation Project Unit on artistic internship. The Documentation Project was undertaken to collect data on every artists and craftspeople for the first time in the country, funded by the Kepa Zambia, Finnish Embassy, Norad and Lechwe Trust. Sylvia Mwando has found working on the project inspiring and it has enriched her artistic development.