Ngonidzashe Mwanjira, The Summon, 15 April 2020. Graphic illustration on Photoshop, 1000p x 1000.
Ngonidzashe Mwanjira, The Summon, 15 April 2020. Graphic illustration on Photoshop, 1000p x 1000.

Introduction. 

The inspiration for this work struck me when the prominence of the Corona virus came to my awareness. Businesses commenced to shut down and academic students had to return to their respective residents and as I was meditating upon these occurrences, a vision of a demon descending upon the face of the earth came to me [‘DEMON DECOY’].With business shut down and schools closed and human occupation at cease, the world is currently at a stagnant phase. With the implementation of quarantine, I have now an abundance of quality, personal time to contemplate and meditate on the now, the current situation of things at a global scale and carry out my task as an 

artist to observe. With this perspective and perception of Covid-19, the excess time created by this incident has allowed me the opportunity to present my speculations without exhibiting immense intimidation which might scar one’s soul, for children were also going to witness these piece as ‘DEMON DECOY’ was requested by the SOS Children Villages, Bindura to be exhibited to create awareness on the impending danger from the spread of the virus. Nevertheless I also considered a very familiar medium, digital graphic illustration on Photoshop to also create a graphic [‘The Summon’]. It was the piece I created first. This work is more than just a creation of mere display in a gallery but can also be used with versatility on objects ranging from garments, furniture to any other that can be decorated by such a graphic. 

Contextual Meaning, ‘The Summon’. 

‘The Summon’, is a contemporary Surrealist artwork. Though intimidating in appearance, it is meant to comfort oneself from the traumas of the Corona Virus by making the viewer confront the virus, without anxiety but just as a demon from a personified view. The creative approach was motivated by my admiration of how Artist, Sir William Blake approached his painting, “The Ancient of Days’, (THE STORY OR ART, E.H Gombrich, pg.490.). From a mere vision while reading the book of proverbs, from the Bible, Blake turned it into a remarkable colourful work of art which does not seem to exhibit any form of remarkable draughtsmanship. This justifies why my illustration is of a very simplistic nature and lacks the extravagance of a contemporary graphic print. The simplicity from the use of negative space between the motifs in the graphic is meant to reduce a visual burden on the eye contributing to the comforting concept mentioned above where a busy composition might raise the confusion and anxiety. 

Symbolism 

The whole composition of ‘The Summon’ is circular in nature with the main subject, the demon being the main subject figure emphasized by being placed in the centre. The demon is a four armed figure whose arms are clothed in the arms of a formal double-breasted jacket or blazer. As a norm, in Zimbabwe this garment, the suit, is associated with individuals who serve in prestigious business corporate companies. This in relation with the Corona Virus, finds its place as a character in the conjecture or conspiracy raised by Pastor Christ Oyakilome, who mentioned, in a video I viewed on WhatsApp, that the virus was to destruct the public so as to make way for the implementation of the 5G mobile data system, in other words, the virus is playing the role of a decoy. He continues by stating that in cities like Lagos, citizens had been subjected to quarantine a while before the virus became prominent. And the main motivators behind this were considered to be big businesses which will find the implementation of 5G data system profitable. Furthermore I also use ‘the suite’s’ arms as a motif in ‘DEMON DECOY’. The sombre palette of colours is also to communicate the despair which resulted from the prominence of the virus. 

The four arms belong to the torso that seems to be composed of the face of a Chinese Style traditional figure of a demon which I have referenced as a motif. This does not imply that I am pointing a finger to any Chinese since the virus has traces of Chinese origin, it happened to be a very suitable motif to create the mild intimidating effect. However, coincidentally it finds a suitable conceptual home in this piece. 

The demon figure seems to be excreting energy that metamorphoses into the various microscopic representations of the virus. This is a metaphor for the spread of the virus which is airborne, thus the figure which is supposedly responsible for conceiving the virus is, nevertheless, demonstrating how one goes about spreading the virus. 

Contextual Meaning, ‘DEMON DECOYhttps://blazermag.com/2020/05/27/demon-decoy/

DEMON DECOY’ is an Expressionist, graphic style drawing. It stands as a political statement, a visual communicator of the conjecture or conspiracy stated above quoted from Pastor Christ Oyakilome. Similar to ‘The Summon’, the work is also inspired by artist, Sir William Blake, chiefly how he would concentrate more on communicating the envisioned composition and convey it without the need to ponder much on draughtsmanship, a quality that also makes this piece more visually dynamic and engaging especially to the intended audience. 

Symbolism 

The composition of this piece is dominated by a null coloured figure in the foreground which looks like a more personified version of the main subject in ‘The Summon’. The Chinese demon style face, with protruding, vicious teeth which are exposed from a violently opened mouth, situated in the forefront of a sloughing torso that resembles the microscopic representations of the Corona virus, demonstrated by the protruding antenna-like components of the torso. 

The anatomy of the figure possesses two arms in the style of the formal double breasted suite. Just as in ‘The Summon’, representing the prestigious corporate businessman who is to profit from the implementation of 5G mobile data system. 

The right hand is moist to promote and compliment the terms “WASH YOUR HANDS” on that side of the composition. The left one holds a router with a cubic shaped base component which represents a 5G router, which is said, from this Youtube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g5ek_9Dipc, shall be of the shape of the 5G transmitters, which shall be secretively distributed in cities. 

The figure, according to the nature of the landscape which seems to be a representation of the horizon of the earth and the sky, is very dominant, walking recklessly and clumsily due to its humongous size. This is to communicate the fact that the virus has gained global influence and has affected many haphazardly, with the majority of the people paying the consequences severely, being those from big modern cities. This is why the background has silhouetted figures which are an impressionistic representation of a modern city. The figure, the demon, is departing from the victimised city to its next destination while it still continues to hail the router and administering more chaos. 

CONCLUSION. 

These two artworks are an expression of how the Covid-19 has influenced me, selectively the aspects which concerned me as an Artist which I have felt like I would create upon as themes. These artworks where created for the purpose of self-enjoyment, since I love making art, and communicating concepts as art is, to me, a tool of 

conversation, expression and pedagogy of my observations in today’s society. I want an individual to witness these pieces and be comforted because they will be now aware of the truth behind the creature’s intensions for it is said, “The truth shall set you free!” 

THE END.