SHONA ART sculpture exhibition

Tierpark is proud to present “SHONA ART at Tierpark Berlin” – a unique exhibition of traditional Zimbabwean sculpture. The exhibition has been organised in cooperation with gallery owner Bastian Müller-Mühlinghaus of the SHONA ART project, and will be on display from 26th March to 23th September 2018. Müller-Mühlinghaus explains the unusual choice of venue for the exhibition: “We want to create an emotional, intellectual and economic bridge between Europe and Africa, and make these wonderful Zimbabwean sculptures accessible to a broad public.”

The special artistic tradition of Shona stone sculpture has its roots in the 1960s and has achieved international renown, appearing in famous collections and museums such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Musée Rodin in Paris. Shona art is currently the most highly regarded contemporary visual art form originating from Africa. Newsweek even described Shona stone sculpture as “perhaps the most important new art form to emerge from Africa this century.” And now visitors to the Tierpark in Berlin get to admire the art form, too – in life-size exhibits.

Shona stone sculpture – named after the Shona people of Zimbabwe who practise the craft – is created using only hammers, chisels and files. Once the stone shape is finished, the sculpture gets its characteristic shine through a combination of water and sand paper. The sculptures speak of the artists’ own spiritual roots and draw on Zimbabwean legends. Many of the pieces on display at the Tierpark would struggle to fit in the average living room. Together, the sculptures weigh more than 40 tonnes – that’s around ten times as much as our elephant bull Tembo.

Sculpture workshops for Tierpark visitors

As part of the SHONA ART exhibition, artists from Zimbabwe are offering Tierpark visitors of all ages the opportunity to work a piece of original Zimbabwean serpentine stone and create their very own sculpture under the watchful eye of a professional. Working with a genuine Zimbabwean sculptor will give workshop participants a deeper understanding of Shona art.

The sculptures are carved entirely by hand, using tools including hammers, chisels, rasps and files. Once the final stone shape has been achieved, the sculpture is smoothed and polished using water and sandpaper. The sculpture workshops take place in an idyllic setting within the Tierpark, next to the Kakadu terrace café. A rainproof pavilion allows the workshops to be offered in all weather. Previous experience of sculpting or carving is not necessary.

Participation fee

For the first two days, the participation fee is €60 per day.

Each additional day costs €40.

Material costs

An additional €3 will be charged per kilo of Zimbabwean serpentine stone used. All tools are provided.

Workshop dates

23 March to 23 September 2018
tuesday till Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tierpark Berlin (next to the Kakadu terrace café)

A workshop can be booked for the desired number of days on any dates that fall within the specified time period. It is also possible to extend the workshop at short notice. A workshop must not necessarily be held on consecutive days.

Upon presentation of their booking confirmation at the Tierpark ticket booths, participants will be admitted to the Tierpark free of charge.

Registration is essential and places are limited. Please sign up for the workshops by calling +49 (0)2302 9787 428 or sending an e-mail to

For more information visit

Sculpture shop
Auf Steinhausen 28 | 58452 Witten
Tel. 02302-97 87 428 |