Gonçalo Mabunda, 'Untitled Throne', 2015, Decommissioned arms, 117 x 92 x 65 cm, Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery
Gonçalo Mabunda, 'Untitled Throne', 2015, Decommissioned arms, 117 x 92 x 65 cm, Courtesy of Jack Bell Gallery 

Gonçalo Mabunda is interested in the collective memory of his country, Mozambique: a country whose long and terrible Civil War remains ingrained in the memories of its inhabitants. In his sculptures he gives anthropomorphic form to AK47s, rocket launchers, pistols and other objects of destruction, weapons that were recovered in 1992 at the end of a fifteen-year conflict that divided the region. The deactivated weapons carry strong political connotations, and yet the beautiful compositions he creates also convey a positive reflection on the transformative power of art and the resilience and creativity of African civilian societies.

Mabunda’s work was included in the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, Italy (2015); and most recently in the itinerant Making Africa: A Continent of Contemporary Design (exhibited across 2015–2016 at Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany (2015); Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; and Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), Spain).