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Telling stories through sculpted metal

2021-04-30  Aletta Shikololo

Telling stories through sculpted metal
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Winner of the 2020 Bank Windhoek Triennial, Saima Iita is a rising star in the world of contemporary sculpture, and his work is fascinating!

VIBEZ! caught up with the sculptor to find out how he navigates the creative spaces he occupies.

“I have always wanted to take up space in the arts industry and I am glad to see my dream of becoming one of the best sculptors turning into reality,” he said.  Born in the Onghani village of the Omusati region, Iita dropped out of school in Grade 10 to follow his dream of becoming an artist. In 2013, he was admitted to the College of the Arts in Windhoek, where he pursued studies in visual art, majoring in sculpting.

Iita has since grown to be a successful creative, with most of his artwork receiving international recognition. 

He explores the world of sculpting and it shows in his work - the best techniques and a thoughtful workflow that considers how best to tell a narrative. “I try to create an idea around it that would tell a story. Most of my sculptures have inspirations and philosophies that guide them.”

The award-winning sculptor explained why he opted for sculpting: “As an inborn artist, I have always wanted to tell stories through art and I realised that metal sculpting is the best way for me to express myself without saying words”.  

Iita often uses colour to give his pieces a vibrant finish. His detailed sculptures, known for capturing movement and expression, emphasise resourcefulness and encourages viewer’s engagement. 

“Audience reactions fuel my creativity and help me bring my visions to life.”  Recently, Iita’s efforts have been channelled into crafting artwork that reflect and support areas impacted by human abuse and other social issues in the country. His work has gone on show in various exhibitions at home and abroad. Some of his sculptures, which are being exhibited at the Art Gallery of Namibia, can fetch up to N$45 000, while smaller pieces are sold for N$3 000. -

“I mostly spend three to four months creating a single sculpture, because it requires so many materials and creativity. So, I spend most of the time perfecting the artwork.” 

When he is not travelling or scouring junkyards, Iita mentors aspiring artists, because he wants to encourage creativity and get the youth to explore alternative ways to express themselves.

“I help upcoming artists create their own creative spaces and express themselves in their own unique ways. To get recognised, one has to stand out and that’s the message I always emphasise among young artists.”


2021-04-30  Aletta Shikololo

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