Lawrence on far left
Malawi Wood Carver Levison Lawrence has returned home a happy man after impressing at this year's World Wood Day commemoration exhibitions which took place in Cambodia from 20th to 27th March.
The exhibitions also coincided with World Wood Day which is commemorated on 21 March.
The exhibitions attracted wood carvers from Russia, China, USA, Zambia, Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique and Cambodia.
"The theme for this year's World Wood Day was "Wood is Life". We were grouped for each group to come up with artworks depicting the theme. I was grouped with Chile and Czech Republic and our group also performed well," Lawrence said.
While in Cambodia, one of Lawrence's creations in which he depicted village life attracted attention and was sold for $80.
Lawrence explains, "I curve anything from animals to stories happening in the villages. I can curve weddings, farming and funerals among other activities.
"Above everything else, I was excited to finally travel to an international exhibition where I interacted with fellow wood carvers. The trip also gave me an opportunity to meet with investors and create partnerships. It's quite hard to get local investors who can help artists to have own galleries where they can exhibit their products. I am looking forward to owning a gallery."
After failing to honour three invitations due for financial constraints, Malawian wood curver Levison Lawrence finally made it to a wood curving exhibitions at Angkor, Siem Rep in Cambodia, courtesy of Crossroads and Gateway Dental Clinics in Lilongwe.
Hailing from Mua, Ntakataka, Levison Lawrence is a 40 year old who started wood curving in 1990.
Since he was discovered by a Germany Tourist named Andre in 2014, Lawrence has been receiving invitations to exhibit in Turkey in 2015, Napal in 2016 and USA in 2017. This year, Lawrence managed to fly to Cambodia under the sponsorship of Zizwani Masanche, owner of Crossroads and Gateway Dental clinics.
He further bemoaned lack of markets in Malawi, saying international tourists are the ones who have interest in creative arts.
"It’s quite a challenge to survive on artistry in Malawi. However, I have established good links and I am hoping to see doors of opportunities opening soon," said Lawrence who dropped out of school in standard 8.
He then appealed to upcoming artists to pursue basic education for communication, have a cultural and global understanding on what is happening around the world.