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Seeds Of Despair

1996 H: 130cm

During the early 1990s, Zimbabwe experienced a series of devastating droughts that brought misery and suffering to the entire population, who were mostly based in the rural areas. As a farmer himself living on a smallholding fifty kilometres East of Harare, Paul was no stranger to these pressures, his artistic income also having been affected by the increasing production of low quality welded metal birds by other producers, his own avian sculptures having provided a steady stream of sustenance for some years.


'Seeds Of Despair' is a remarkable work, the impoverished and poorly attired farmer merely able to sow his meagre portion by hand. The area where the artist lived was at that time surrounded by large, industrialised white-owned farms and the dissatisfaction of the lot of the indigenous landholder is clear. Within a few years of the creation of this work, the agricultural sector of the country was of course hurled into confusion with the invasion, seizure and redistribution of the majority of these properties.

Paul Machowani - 'Seeds Of Despair' 1996