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.

Julia Zigha Malunga (1964-1997) was born in Kabwe in the Central Province. Julia Malunga became the first female National Chairperson of the Zambia National Visual Arts Council. The late Julia Malunga was a creative and determined artist as well as an invaluable high achiever in what was meant to be her lifelong art career. She started school at Tundunya Primary School and completed her secondary school education at Rusangu Mission School in Lusaka. Within her short span of contemporary art practice, she broke through boundaries and positioned a legacy, leadership legacy that toppled sceptics’ notion on female leadership by rising to the top chair in visual arts management.

 Agnes Buya Yombwe was born in 1966 in Mazabuka – Southern Province. Her work has developed mesmerising elements over the past ten years of her contemporary art practice. Her interest began with instructions in art lessons at St. Mary’s Girls Secondary School in Lusaka. Her teacher, Mrs S. Hill, encouraged art, her [Agnes] favourite subject. Agnes Yombwe went on to pursue a three-year Art Teachers’Diploma course at the Evelyn Hone College, which she completed in 1989. As a requirement of all graduates from that course, Agnes taught art at Libala and Matero Boys Secondary Schools until 1996, the year when she moved on to continue teaching in Botswana. Agnes Yombwe has, attached to her name, a number of awards received in art.

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.

Kate Naluyele whose work can be described as social commentary on rural life,was born in 1976. She went to Chinsali Girls Secondary School in the Northern Province of Zambia. In 1994, Kate Naluyele graduated with a school certificate, which enabled her to acquire a place on a diplomacourse in Forestry and Wood Science, offered at the Zambia Forestry College in Kitwe on the Copper-belt Province.However after six months on the course, Kate Naluyele encountered extreme financial difficulties and subsequently left College. After abandoning her course, she decided against all odds to work as a full time painter and graphic artist from 1996.

‘Rainmaker’ Namakau Nalumango was born in 1957 in Mongu,Western Province of Zambia, a region well known for traditional handcrafts. Namakau Nalumango has led a life of many challenges. Her work is a comprehensive visual mapping of the environment of her birthplace and the trajectory of her own life. She left school before she could sit for final examinations. However, she later completed her ‘O’ levels by correspondence and obtained merits that earned her a place at the Mungu Teacher Training College. After graduating in 1978, she taught for a number of years and obtained another certificate in Specialist Teacher for Visual Impairment. The certificate in Visual Impairment secured her present job since 1995 as a School Counsellor at Munali Secondary School. Ever keen on academic pursuits, in 1996, she obtained merits for a Bachelors’ Degree in Social Work from the University of Zambia.

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.