KUNGONI WORK is concerned with the artistic activity of Kungoni Centre. It embraces work in all media: public commissions and objets d’art, and some for utility; creations that deserve their place in the historical record and ‘airport art’ that is sold to pay school fees; religious and secular. The artists’ choice of themes constitutes an encyclopaedia of their lived experience in rural Malawi at a time of rapid social change. At its best their work develops and draws on a rich visual idiom to express their everyday concerns and the cosmology of the three peoples (Chewa, Ngoni and Yao) that inhabit the Mua area.
There is one entry for each work of art, except where several items are better considered together (e.g. Stations of the Cross). Entries are arranged by geographical location or collection, as appropriate, starting with what is closest to Kungoni Centre and moving further afield: beyond Mua Mission to Malawi; and beyond Malawi to Africa and the World. It is intended that, where possible, a work of art should be presented in context, so as to allow its full understanding. Archive material is also incorporated.
It may be appropriate to think of KUNGONI WORK as a series of concentric ripples expanding from a pebble cast into the waters of the Nadzipokwe River, which runs through Mua Mission and is an important part of the artistic landscape of Kungoni Centre.
Circle A is Kungoni Centre.
Circle B is Kungoni work within Malawi:
Circle B(i) is religious work for the Catholic church arranged by diocese and parish.
Circle B(ii) is religious work for the Protestant churches arranged by region and district.
Circle B(iii) is religious work for churches other than Christian arranged by region and district.
Circle B(iv) is secular work arranged by region and district. It includes work for banks, companies, embassies and high commissions, government departments, lodges, national parks, NGO’s, schools and universities.
Circle C is Kungoni work outside Malawi:
Circle C(i) is Kungoni work that has remained in Africa. It is arranged by country.
Circle C(ii) is Kungoni work that has left Africa. It is arranged by continent and country.
Circle D provides convenient links to Private Collections, which are, however, placed on the Database where they are physically located.
Circle E comprises work that is not easily placed elsewhere. Most notable are the sections that illustrate Claude Boucher Chisale’s own formation as an artist, and artistic work in Malawi and elsewhere that is unrelated to Kungoni Centre, but to which it bears interesting comparison.
KUNGONI WORK is searchable by fields that include: Artist, Date, Location, Project, Theme and Material. All references to Kungoni work in African Theology in Images are included, whether or not the work still exists in place.