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[2 Dec 2015 | One Comment | ]
transFORM#1: A conversation with Afriart Gallery Art director Daudi Karungi

The transFORM #1 Contemporary Art Experience is happening this Saturday 5th December at a warehouse behind the Nakumatt in Bukoto. The event, which is organised in partnership with the Goethe Zentrum Kampala, is widely advertised in the media as an art experience with exhibition and after party with South African DJs. Startjournal met with the organiser Daudi Karungi to find out what was the rational behind the event.

Artist interviews, Featured, Headline, Uncategorized »

[11 Nov 2015 | Comments Off on Transcending the Proverbial box – Q&A with Jackie Karuti | ]
Transcending the Proverbial box – Q&A with Jackie Karuti

Jackie Karuti was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and has in recent years gained positive attention for her experimental, conceptual work using new media. She explores themes of death, sexuality, identity, space and urban culture using installation, video and performance art as well as mixed-media work. Karuti has exhibited and participated in workshops and residencies in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden, The Netherlands, Uganda and the USA. She has also collaborated with other artists in various film, photography and academic […]

Featured, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[1 Sep 2015 | Comments Off on Duplicating Fabian Mpagi’s, the thinker, by Waddimba spurs controversy | ]
Duplicating Fabian Mpagi’s, the thinker, by Waddimba spurs controversy

The next big story in the Uganda contemporary art scene could be the duplicating of the painting, the thinker, by Edward Waddimba. The thinker (1993) is a series of paintings composed of a stoic human figure squatting with a hunched back with its right elbow almost supporting its right chin to create an impression of someone in a pensive mood. This painting originally painted by, Fabian Kamulu Mpagi, one of the masters of modern and contemporary art in Uganda, was duplicated in 2008 by Waddimba his former protégé.

Artwork critiques, Featured, Uncategorized »

[26 Aug 2015 | Comments Off on George Kyeyune’s ‘Quiet Dignity’ repeats subject matter, pushes subtle boundaries | ]
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.

Featured, Review, Uncategorized »

[29 Jul 2015 | Comments Off on Constructions Exhibition bridges gap between Artists and Artisans | ]
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 »

[21 Jul 2015 | Comments Off on How a single street leads us to the future | ]
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 »

[14 Jul 2015 | Comments Off on Rampant Contemporary Kampala is Komakech’s playful performance in sculpture | ]
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 »

[7 Jul 2015 | Comments Off on Surviving Ugandan Art | ]
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 »

[1 Jul 2015 | Comments Off on Artists and Politics: Brief | ]
Artists and Politics: Brief

 

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 »

[17 Jun 2015 | Comments Off on Melancholy Exhibition, probes the pain of introspection and the joy of self-knowledge | ]
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.

Collaborative Art Project, Featured, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[1 Jun 2015 | Comments Off on A Tree in Public Space | ]
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, Uncategorized »

[19 May 2015 | Comments Off on Revisiting the Value of the Arts in Uganda at UCU | ]
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 »

[5 May 2015 | Comments Off on Beautiful Imperfections: An exhibition of sculptures by Makerere Alumni | ]
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.

Featured, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[15 Apr 2015 | Comments Off on Inspired by Western Modern Art | ]
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 »

[9 Apr 2015 | Comments Off on Abstract | ]
Abstract

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.

Art collectors, Artwork critiques, Featured, Uncategorized »

[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.

Featured, Interview, Uncategorized »

[18 Mar 2015 | 4 Comments | ]
A conversation with comic artist Chris Mafigiri

Chris Mafigiri Mugarura is a professional comic artist living in Kampala. He has been a comic artist since his childhood but started Journalism at Uganda Christian University, Mukono. In 2013, he won the comic book competition organized by the Goethe Zentrum Kampala/ UGCS. This led to his publishing the book, Children of War that was recently launched at the Cultural offices in Kamwokya, Kampala.
Startjournal Editor, Dominic Muwanguzi, sat with him and asked him about his latest book and how Comics influence other art forms.

Collaborative Art Project, Ekifananyi project, Featured, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[11 Mar 2015 | One Comment | ]
Images, Reflections, Objects

I was impressed, both in the affirmative and negative senses by the calculated way that racist philosophy is engrained in European culture.
Images of 2 dimensional photography, paint, paper, cloth; objects in 3 dimension, and audio-visual media have been used to project a consistent image of us. We put our work up in the subliminal awareness of the fact that our work, by virtual of being Ugandan or African and is telling a Ugandan story to an audience that has long held views of what Africa is or should be. My mission became not only to tell a Ugandan story but also to try and challenge the way that African stories are portrayed. Consistently I have desired to discuss ‘Race’, ‘colour’, ‘object’, ‘ekifananyi’, ‘image’ not in the mirrored way of showing ‘contemporary African art’ but also to show our art images and objects as needing liberation just as much as we do.

Featured, Uncategorized »

[3 Mar 2015 | Comments Off on Ndema’s Last Supper Painting Immortalizes Pan-Africanism | ]
Ndema’s Last Supper Painting Immortalizes Pan-Africanism

The Last Supper is a subject that has been reproduced in art severally. Leonardo Da Vinci’s 15th Century mural painting of Jesus Christ and his disciples seated at table having a meal of bread and wine that came to be immortalized in early Christian literature as the Last Supper has since become a source of inspiration for many artists. The present day production of the Last Super however does not involve a figure of Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples at the holly banquet.

Featured, Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Review, Special analysis, Uncategorized »

[18 Feb 2015 | 2 Comments | ]
Atwork in progress

From February 9th to the 13th 2015, 21 fine art students, curators-to-be, and recent graduates participated in the AtWork workshop, equipped with two small moleskine notebooks. One book was reserved for ideas, question, and notes and the second for executing their interpretation to the question, “should I take off my shoes?” They worked under the direction of Simon Njami, with the support of Dr. Lillian Nabulime and Dr. George Kyeyune from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts.