- Mtika’s exhibition paints other side of Northern capital
Mzuzu is known as the dead city. But Mycke Mtika bares his take on the chilly setting in the North through the strokes of his brush.
At the weekend, the Mzuzu-based visual artist, 27, staged a three-day solo exhibition at Mzuzu Coffee Den to showcase the northern city’s overlooked aesthetics.
The show, which ran from Friday to Sunday, comprised the painter-cum-sculptors’ new artworks, largely highlighting the scenes that distinguish the Northern Region’s commercial hub from the rest of the country’s cities.
The carvings and paintings do not talk about Bazaar Building, probably the city’s oldest multi-storey structure or the Reserve Bank of Malawi complex, a humble sky-scraper being constructed in Mzuzu.
Instead, Mtika projects the city’s gateways, its lone clock tower on Orton Chirwa Street and the entrance to the hugely dense Taifa Market where Malawians and their neighbours from Tanzania trade side by side every day.
According to Mtika, at least 100 art pilgrims—including academics and students—paid homage to his latest offerings at the home of the country’s globally acclaimed beverage, Mzuzu Coffee.
“This is the second exhibition since the one I had at Key Lounge in 2014. I am just updating the public about my new artworks,” said Mtika at the exhibition site.
Apart from showcasing his offerings, the show also provided him an opportunity to sensitise the audience to what art is all about.
Pieces that caught the eyes of the viewers include deep-hearted contemporary creations, including the carving Pa Low, which depicts a relaxed man deep in thought.
The creator said the art was a personification of the peace that has been prevailing in the country since independence in 1964.
Deep-hearted art normally emanates from the artist’s inner expression, Mtika said.
“The art work acts as a medium of expressing my thoughts just like any other mode of communication that, like radio, communicate to large audiences,” he explained.
Mtika, who learnt the art skills from his brother, Kondwani, revealed that the exhibition has enabled him to reach large audiences.