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[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.

Artwork critiques, Issue 028 Jan '13, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[2 Jan 2013 | 4 Comments | ]
When group exhibitions fall short on competence and innovation

Many artists will gush at the opportunity of participating in a group exhibition, especially when it is held in a non-traditional art space like a hotel or an open space. The excitement comes from the fact that they are going to make a good killing with their art. Unfortunately, many times the artists compromise a lot on quality—often the work is not good enough—and as such it affects the whole idea of creativity, competence and innovation.

Artwork critiques, Issue 027 Dec '12, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[30 Nov 2012 | 5 Comments | ]
Nudity? It is Artistic Expression and Free Speech (part II)

In this second part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende reviews many of the paintings depicted in Nude 2000 and Nude 2001: “In summing up, Nude 2001 grew from the success of Nude 2000; the two shows had a common agenda of mystifying the naked body. I however submit that that is not what is should be remembered for. In my opinion, it should be remembered for providing an occasion of the artists to explore the nude for art and for purposes of contributing to socio-political discussions in the country.”

Issue 027 Dec '12, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[30 Nov 2012 | 2 Comments | ]
Ugandan Art: From Galleries to Green Lawns and Red Roads

Do you want to learn about the development of the Ugandan Visual Arts scene? In this article, Margaret Nagawa starts with the impact of Margaret Trowell and Cecil Todd, and gives a brief overview of some of the developments in the art scene all the way up to the recent KLA ART 012.

Artwork critiques, Issue 026 Nov '12, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[2 Nov 2012 | 4 Comments | ]
Nudity? It is Artistic Expression and Free Speech (part I)

In this first part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende relates the recent Nude 2012-exhibition at FasFas to former Nude 2000 and Nude 2001-exhibitions held at Nommo Gallery. He looks beyond the claim for the aesthetic appeal, and attends two ways in which the production and circulation of the nude in contemporary Ugandan art in general and nude exhibitions in particular fuses the line between aesthetics and pornography; art and non-art.

Issue 026 Nov '12, Visual Art »

[2 Nov 2012 | One Comment | ]
Five monuments in Kampala from the first 50 years of independence

The monument “The Journey” was unveiled at the Kololo airstrip during then celebration of the 50 years of independence. The five youthful individuals represent the five decades Uganda has passed through as an independent state. Nakisanze Segawa looks at this one and some of the most significant monuments that represent Uganda’s past and the future.

Artwork critiques, Issue 020 May '12, Visual Art »

[30 Apr 2012 | One Comment | ]
Edison Mugalu’s art: The serendipity of success

“I have been following the trends in Uganda’s visual environment in the last decade, with keen interest and I have noted something rather distinct. While the events in art that made headlines in the period of economic recovery (1986-2000) were led by seasoned artists with predictable results, those in the last decade have been dominated by younger artists most of whom in the early stages of their careers. … Edison Mugalu typifies this cadre of younger artists who have taken to making art as their full time employment and many have made a success of it. Their work exhibit a bold and aggressive attitude which is also reflected in their marketing strategies.” Professor George Kyeyune reviews Mugalu’s work for startjournal.

Artwork critiques, Issue 016 Jan '12, Visual Art »

[28 Dec 2011 | 2 Comments | ]
Geoffrey Mukasa: The enduring painter

“As an artist Geoffrey Mukasa was never afraid to take on new challenges; he taught us to be bold and courageous. He straddled the past and the present and his contribution to the young subject of contemporary art in Uganda has been immense. Mukasa stretched the borders of painting beyond the expected, and deservedly; today he is celebrated as a leading Ugandan painter of the 20th century who was key in raising the profile of art in Uganda. Mukasa’s legacy will continue to reverberate across the country and beyond for many years to come.” Dr. George Kyeyune reviews the recent Mukasa-exhibition at AKA Gallery (Tulifanya).

Artwork critiques, Issue 015 Dec '11, Visual Art »

[29 Nov 2011 | 20 Comments | ]
Kyeyune’s The Kampala I Will Always Come Back To: Sanitised Economic Injustices and the Risk of Propaganda

In this article Angelo Kakande shows and argues that as representations of life in Kampala, Kyeyune’s paintings are not portraits of individuals or groups. They are in the first place art. In the second, they are sanitised versions of reality intended to suit middle class and tourist aesthetic tastes. In the third place, they carry the risks of pandering to state propaganda.

Issue 014 Nov '11, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[1 Nov 2011 | 9 Comments | ]
Patronage, finesse and passion

Could the above be the ingredients that can be injected into Kampala’s visual arts scene to spice it up? It cannot be denied that the art industry has grown over the past ten years, but where should it go from here? Startjournal.org caught up with a few renowned artists to discover what they believed were the elements necessary for Kampala’s visual arts scene to be the best it can be.

Issue 013 Oct '11, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[2 Oct 2011 | 6 Comments | ]
Is the Ugandan art scene on the right path?

Kampala’s arts scene is on the move. There is no longer such a thing as “the only gallery in town”. These new white cubes appears in many shapes and frequencies, and provides great, new arenas for creators to meet potential buyers and patrons. But who are the new drivers behind the wheel? Startjournal takes a look at the spin-offs, the garden parties, the corporate fueled charity events and the festivals.

Artwork critiques, Issue 013 Oct '11, Visual Art »

[2 Oct 2011 | 2 Comments | ]
Sculptural figures reflected on daily experiences? Nabulime confronts the canon of visual representation

In this essay Angelo Kakande F.J. reviews the themes of woman and man as visualised in Lilian Nabulime’s recent exhibition ‘Sculptural figures reflected on daily experiences’. He shows how a creative enterprise, shaped by formal art education, is interwoven into specific historical circumstances. He submits that through her sculptures Nabulime attempts to challenge masculine power.

Artwork critiques, Issue 012 Sept '11, Visual Art »

[31 Aug 2011 | 3 Comments | ]
Taking art back to communities: The Mabarti Street Art project

The project of taking art to the street that Sadolin is spearheading will give artists and their ‘new audience’ the opportunity to dialogue. The artists will cast their nets beyond the gallery visitors to include local audiences. They will understand each other better and gradually develop images that match their expectations. Mabarti art project has confirmed to the Kampala dwellers and visitors that there is a community of artists in Uganda actively and devotedly practicing art and that these artists would like to reach out to them.

Artist interviews, Issue 012 Sept '11, Visual Art »

[31 Aug 2011 | 5 Comments | ]
A woman with many artistic hats: An interview with Margaret Nagawa

Margaret Nagawa has had many roles and responsibilities participating in Uganda’s fine art world. She has been a student of fine art, a maker of fine arts, a curator, a teacher, a promoter, and a collector of fine arts. And now again, a student of fine arts! Margaret currently lives in Ethiopia but is working on her PhD from Makerere, writing her dissertation on ‘Visual Arts Dissemination and Cultural Translation in East Africa’.

Artwork critiques, Issue 007 Mar '11, Visual Art »

[3 Mar 2011 | Comments Off on Different but One 15: The Makerere Masters | ]
Different but One 15: The Makerere Masters

This year the joint faculty exhibition at Makerere University’s Fine Arts Department ”Different but One” celebrates its 15th year. Startjournal.org would like to honour 15 of the inspiring faculty artists by displaying 15 artworks from the current exhibition. Please enjoy and comment their work.

Issue 006 Feb '11, Special analysis, Visual Art »

[2 Feb 2011 | 4 Comments | ]
Evolution of visual arts in Uganda

Uganda’s visual art scene, like the country’s history, has been through turbulent times. In this feature Harry Johnstone explores the evolution of visual art in Uganda. Harry examines Uganda’s historical differences with other regions in Africa, visual artists’ reaction to post-independence political struggle as well as the work of several contemporary artists.

Artist interviews, Issue 005 Dec '10, Visual Art »

[15 Dec 2010 | 5 Comments | ]
The Perceptive Observer: An interview with George Kyeyune

A cow. A boda boda. A woman carrying her child in a sling. A man pushing a wooden wheelbarrow. George Kyeyune sees extraordinary stories in ordinary events.
”If I can record these moments in time as permanent images. To engage my audience. To show you our history. To provoke you and challenge you about who you are. Then I have accomplished my mission as an artist”.

Art collectors, Issue 004 Dec ´09, Visual Art »

[1 Dec 2009 | Comments Off on Pamela Kertland Wright: Collector, writer and owner of Emin Pasha hotel | ]
Pamela Kertland Wright: Collector, writer and owner of Emin Pasha hotel

A Q&A with Pamela Kertland Wright, collector, writer and owner of Emin Pasha hotel as well as several other safari lodges in Uganda.

“I think there is incredible talent here in Uganda. But sometimes it needs to be taken out of Uganda to be fully appreciated. When people visit our house in the UK and see the art we have there, they are amazed. We have been buying pieces for people overseas, who seem to appreciate the work more than […]

Artist interviews, Issue 004 Dec ´09 »

[1 Dec 2009 | One Comment | ]
Learning A New Language: Lillian Nabulime

George Kyeyune reflects on how the medium affects the message in contemporary Ugandan art.

“Nabulime makes casts of male and female genitals in transparent soap into which she embeds dark seeds to look like infections. We all know that soap is a cleaning agent. The metaphor presented here is that spiritual and physical cleanliness is crucial to the prevention of HIV infection.”