Albert Munyai discovered that art is a universal language, a form of expression flowing from the spirit world, through the artist and to the people. He translates his spirituality into objects that all can understand.
Wood sculptor and traditional healer Albert Munyai believes when God created the universe he was making art. In that broad spectrum he gave each plant a rustle, insects a sound, animals a call, every bird a song and people different colours, shapes and languages. He lives in the area of Tengwe, Venda, overlooking the Pile Mountains, a tall, majestic structure of natural architecture that lets the spirit free living there. He came to realize that art is a universal language, a form of expression flowing from the spirit world, through the artist and to the people in much the same way as healing powers are communicated from the ancestors through the traditional healer in African custom. The artist was thus a hidden treasure, the spiritual eye, a receiver of visions and energy to be translated into objects that all can understand. Munyai knew instinctively that this was why God had placed him on Earth. “Mine is a spiritual inspiration, I’ve always known that”, he said, speaking fast. “I’m a piece of God” (Pat Hopkins).
Spiritual significance of water
‘Man cannot live without water’, Albert explains. All across Africa it is the most precious resource. It is of vast spiritual significance; water moves and flows, it is the giver and sustainer of life. In Venda, the custodian of water is the fish and its depiction pays homage to that which protects water, ensuring the prosperity and well-being of the community. In his art work fish are often used as a symbol of spirituality.
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