Gorleston Sculptor Heads to Zimbabwe

A Gorleston Sculptor has decided to give up all his material possessions in order to fund a trip to Zimbabwe to sculpt with the traditional craftsmen who inspired him.

Jason Parr, 41, is to attend the Hifa Festival in Harare, where he will stay with a man he has never met, or spoken to. Mr Parr works with excluded youngsters, and first learnt of the Hifa Festival through a film called Talking Stones, which details the Shona people’s approach to art.

The Shona community was set up by a British tobacco farmer in the 1950s, and makes its living by carving souvenirs using traditional methods. Key to the Shona sculptural tradition is the idea that the finished work is already in the stone, and that the sculptor’s job is simply to reveal what was already there.

Mr Parr has received a £400 grant from SeaChange Arts, but is paying for everything else himself, and organising his trip via Facebook. Mr Parr intends to take as many aid items as he can, including clothes, footballs, pens and tools, and hopes his trip will publicise the plight of the Zimbabwean people.

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