[Posted by start | 26 Aug 2015 | 2 Comments | ]
George Kyeyune’s ‘Quiet Dignity’ repeats subject matter, pushes subtle boundaries

“It was at the beginning of the millennium, just before I went for my PhD that I started seriously painting,” Kyeyune narrated in an interview with the writer. In this time, he pursued painting in order to realise himself as an artist. However, like many others faced with the reality of living as an artist, he created more to sell than he created for himself. He confessed that his past exhibitions were not usually pre-meditated, but rather he was approached by gallery managers and owners to present his work regardless of whether or not the collection was cohesive.
“Quiet Dignity” was his escape from this trap. It was a planned exhibition toward which he worked with two goals: to present his findings on the use of modelling wax created from locally available materials and to re-launch himself into studio practice where he could create, not for a client, but for himself.

Read the full story »

Art Education, Collaborative Art Project, Creative techniques, Featured, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 13 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]
Become Art Minded; Afriart launches Art Education Programme

“Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence,” sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz has once said. Arts education, on the other hand, does solve problems. Society needs people with skills to think creatively, innovate and to become critical thinkers and learners ready to solve everyday challenges. It is this understanding that has inspired Afriart Gallery to add an Art Education department to their existing scope of work.

Creative techniques, Featured, Review, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 11 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]
Stimulating artistic inquiry with Ronex’ Bags

The Exhibition titled Bags that opened recently at Afriart gallery in Kampala is a continuation of the innovation, participation and interaction. The artist showcases bags in both small and big sizes with artworks emblazoned on their faces. Some of the images are abstract while others are semi-abstract with human figures and familiar motifs like the pair of fish wedged on canvas, the miniature human face parallel to the miniature standing human figure and the now popular KLA motif.

Brief, Featured, Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 4 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]

At the launch of Another Roadmap Africa Cluster, at Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design (NIAAD) on 25th July 2015, some of the panelists choose to address the audience in Luganda, a local language in Uganda. The initial impression on the invited guests that included academics, artists, art managers and writers was of confusion and awkwardness.

Featured, Review, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 29 Jul 2015 | No Comment | ]
Constructions Exhibition bridges gap between Artists and Artisans

Constructions, is bound into community practice and collaboration within a framework of socially engaged and participatory art and temporary practice. The culmination is a hybrid between exhibition, public installation and event created to reflect everyday contexts.

Featured, Goethe Zentrum Kampala, Review, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 21 Jul 2015 | One Comment | ]
How a single street leads us to the future

This year’s LaBa! celebrating its 9th year aimed to create visions for the future reflecting on the past and the present. Can such a complex process of creation be done during a festival?

Featured, Review, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 14 Jul 2015 | No Comment | ]
Rampant Contemporary Kampala is Komakech’s playful performance in sculpture

Rampant implies something wild and unchecked, without restrain. It is often used to describe something unwelcome. Rampant Contemporary Kampala is not an aimed criticism at the unchecked growth of Kampala city; it is more of a series of impressions about the city.

Featured, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 7 Jul 2015 | 3 Comments | ]
Surviving Ugandan Art

Nonetheless I chastised him for having not increased on the size of his format since we last met. I also wondered why he had not moved away from typical imagery of women plaiting hair, boda-boda cyclists, bare landscapes and birds which have dominated his work since the 80s.He was quick to point out that his work style had been shaped by his days in self exile.

Brief, Featured, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 1 Jul 2015 | No Comment | ]


Artists and politics

What is the relationship between artists and politics? Is this a subject they include in their art?

Fred Mutebi’s exhibition, Queens Forever, showing at Afriart gallery, Kampala is a metaphor to the present political climate in Uganda. The artist figuratively presents the subject of women as queens, alluding to their political ability.

“The men have failed this country. I think it is now time for a woman President,” he says.

Such advocacy conjures the role of the artist as a social […]

Featured, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 17 Jun 2015 | 2 Comments | ]
Melancholy Exhibition, probes the pain of introspection and the joy of self-knowledge

“All the time, whenever I would go to paint, there was this thing in me. I think the energy in the paintings would show there is some bit of soul-searching,” he said to me, drawing back his arms behind his head in a thoughtful pose. There it was. The spirit of Melancholy.

Featured, Interview »

[Posted by start | 10 Jun 2015 | 3 Comments | ]
‘But I wonder, why do we have to be so bothered about the challenges of being received abroad?’ – Q&A with curator Bisi Silva

Start: The 10th Photography Biennale: Bamako Encounter is celebrating photography as an artform. What are still some of those challenges photographers from the continent face to be accepted on the International scene?
Bisi: The 10th Bamako Encounters: African Biennale of Photography is the principal and longest running platform for the presentation of the work of African and African Diaspora photographers and artists to showcase their work to a continental and international audience.
But I wonder, why do we have to be so bothered about the challenges of being received abroad? What about the huge challenges of photographers being accepted across Africa? I think that is where we need to direct our attention.

Collaborative Art Project, Featured, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 1 Jun 2015 | One Comment | ]
A Tree in Public Space

In October 2014, a Mutuba or fig tree was the focus of intense debate during an art exhibition. The Mutuba grows across tropical Africa, and is farmed in Uganda for its use in the making of bark cloth. This centuries old tradition is both cultural and historical. Therefore, it is surprising that the debate at the time, between the KLA ART 014 exhibition organizers and the KCCA, Kampala Capital City Authority, involved a disagreement about where the tree would be planted.

Featured, Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 26 May 2015 | 2 Comments | ]
Ebishushani 2&3: Exhibition archiving Uganda’s history

A second photograph exhibition, Ebishushani 2&3 presented by History in Progress, Uganda at Makerere Art gallery imbues elements of documenting Uganda’s social-political landscape during the colonial and post-colonial regime, inviting dialogue on the significance of photography as a non-traditional art genre within the contemporary arts and creating an intelligent visual discourse that facilitates academic research in form of archive.

Special analysis »

[Posted by start | 25 May 2015 | No Comment | ]
Thank you for your support, we are almost there!

Help Startjournal reach its fundraising goals as we count down the days from the start the of StartJournal Fundraising Campaign until it will end on the 31st of May. We are most grateful to people like you who make our work and the journal possible through your support. Your money not only provides young writers the opportunity to write about the arts, it also supports the documenting of East African and African Art, archives what is happening in the art scene and keeps our website updated & online.

Featured, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 19 May 2015 | One Comment | ]
Revisiting the Value of the Arts in Uganda at UCU

Art is quickly overlooked as a source of employment and yet it holds a vast number of opportunities in any field of the arts. The best example might be the recent hype about the film Queen of Katwe, which has just ended filming in Uganda.

Artwork critiques, Featured, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 5 May 2015 | No Comment | ]
Beautiful Imperfections: An exhibition of sculptures by Makerere Alumni

With Beautiful Imperfections, the artists continue a journey of both self and artistic exploration started when they were students of Margaret Trowell school of Fine art. Their choice to come back to exhibit here manifests the faith they have in the institution and an insatiable appetite to better themselves at every level of their artistry.

Comics, Featured, Interview »

[Posted by start | 24 Apr 2015 | 3 Comments | ]
“We have forgotten to attach an identity of relevance to our different forms of Art” – Q&A with Kwiz-Era

“We have forgotten to attach an identity of relevance to our different forms of Art”. Kwizera who goes by the moniker Kwiz-Era is an illustrator and Artist. Startjournal.org had a Q&A with him at his studio within Iguana Bar and asked him why it is important for artists to be relevant and not think about mass production.

Featured, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 15 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]
Inspired by Western Modern Art

Eria Sane Nsubuga an academic at Christian University Mukono in the department of Fine Arts, says that referring to the work of others shows an awareness of self and others. “It is therefore natural given the residual western political and educational set up for African artists to refer to the work of the European masters that we saw in the Art History books. Incidentally those same books as a matter of design more than accident, said nothing about our own indigenous art.” he quotes in his essay, ‘Dead men tell no tales’.

Abstract, Featured, Uncategorized, Visual Art »

[Posted by start | 9 Apr 2015 | No Comment | ]

Artists are continuously searching for inspiration for their art. Ideas often tend to be situated within their locale i.e personal experience, studio space, galleries, museums, workshops and artists residences. Yet there is another source of inspiration for many contemporary African artists: Western modern art.
An exhibition, Head, by Ugandan conceptual artist, Henry Mzili Mujunga at Afriart gallery, Kampala in 2014, showcased different connotation of the Head. The artist figuratively alluded to the vessel of knowledge and intelligence as dick head and spatter head. His technique of employing a monochrome palette of powder paint and infusing the tradition and the contemporary evoked Oliver Cromwell’s drawings of the head on spike. The 18th century painter used the drawings to symbolize the anarchical behavior of the aristocrats in Europe. In the same manner, Mzili paintings of the head, mocks and satirizes the despotic nature of African regimes and the West’s plot to re-colonized Africa.
Christ at Golgotha a famous painting by Romare Bearden (1945) was adopted by Eria Sane Nsubuga. Sane’s acrylic painting of the same subject matter, was based on his deep-seated Christian faith and an affinity to link Western modern Art with Contemporary African art.
While several artists both on the local and continent art scene continue to be inspired by works of Western modernist artists, how does this affect their artistry? Does it dilute or concretize it? What audience are they appealing to in pursuing this trend? Isn’t this a form of elitism that propagates stereotypes in art appreciation?
The article will critique this artistic trend and give answers to these questions using the voice of prominent art scholars and critics.

Featured, Literature »

[Posted by start | 1 Apr 2015 | One Comment | ]
Art writing encourages dialogue in the Arts

Last year in March, 32°East, a centre for contemporary arts in Uganda run a art writing residence for three months at their premises in Kansanga. The program co-sponsored by the British Council and Startjournal.org had one art writer, Dominic Muwanguzi, researching and producing articles that were published in the online journal.
Based from his experience from the residency, Muwanguzi a seasoned art journalist working in Kampala became more confident in his writing. For once, he became aware of the relationship that exists between writer, artist and audience.

Art collectors, Artwork critiques, Featured, Uncategorized »

[Posted by start | 24 Mar 2015 | One Comment | ]
Art collecting supports Art

Uganda’s art collectors are famously business men, art managers, foreign expatriates and artists themselves. In the past five years, there has been a surge in the buying art because of an increased number of artists on the local art scene, an influx of art galleries and organizations opening around Kampala, heightened exposure to the global art market and last but not least, political stability.