Category: Visual Art

Turning Trash into Treasure

A city flooded with litter is great news for the creatives. Artists should look for waste materials in their immediate surroundings, take advantage of the built-in shapes, colours and textures of ordinary rubbish, and treat the piles of litter as a main source of inspiration. These were some of the messages delivered by some of Uganda’s finest artists at the first TEDx-conference hosted in Kampala.

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Olubugo Reloaded: The push towards a new awareness

The exhibition ‘Olubugo Reloaded’ at FAS FAS Gallery is important because it presents artworks based on the bark cloth material with a focus on what place it has in Uganda and within the contemporary arts of Uganda. Art lecturer in fibers and weaving, Lesli Robertson of the University of North Texas, continues to see that bark cloth is finding stronger ground every year and it is through the work of Ugandan artists and designers that this material continues to elevate its place within contemporary art.

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This photograph comes from the collection Andrea worked with before she started HIP. Together with the owner of the material, mr. Kaddu Wasswa, and his grandson Arthur C. Kisitu she made 'The Kaddu Wasswa Archive, a visual biography', a book and a traveling exhibition.

History In Progress: Ugandan photo opportunities

Uganda, the state, will be 50 years old on October 9. That is the history book record. However, a private photo collection that started life as a Facebook archive venture is challenging that version of events. Most times, unintentionally. By the simple act of dredging up visual records from 100 years ago of life in the area that is now geographically registered as Uganda, History in Progress Uganda (HIP) is forcing a re-think of what it means to be Ugandan and where Uganda come from.

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Different But One 16: A Story without End

“Different But One, for the last fifteen years, has provided artists a platform for visual artistic expressions that are increasingly dynamic and provocative. This annual event has also given artists the chance to continually keep their talent alive. This year’s Different But One had a visual exuberance to me which led me to compare it to the “jumping the broom” ceremony; a joyful entry into a new life together as artists—male and female, old and young, modern and figurative, abstract and narrative. We, the viewers, are participants of the renewed energy and commitment of Makerere Faculty’s vision and fine arts.” Maria Alawua reviews.

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Outlook 2012: Six leading Ugandan arts and culture professionals share their visions

Faisal Kiwewa, Director of Bayimba Cultural Foundation, Adong Judith Lucy, a renowned playwright, film maker and arts practitioner, John Bosco Kyabaggu, production manager at the Uganda National Cultural Centre, Ronex Ahimbisibwe, a renowned visual artist, Maurice Kirya, musician and brainchild of the Maurice Kirya Experience, and Joel Sebunjo, acclaimed Ugandan world music artist, all share some thoughts about 2011 and 2012.

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Jjuuko Hoods’ visual memoir of Kampala today

It took Jjuuko Hoods, one of Uganda’s most productive, self-motivated and energetic artists, two years of soul-searching, looking back at his past artistic achievements and experiences, to acknowledge that a turn-away from the contemporary mainstream crowd of artists’ was not an option to be debated about, but a must to be acted upon. Maria Alawua reviews Jjuuko’s latest exhibition.

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Francis Ssenonga 'Literacy'

The 100 Posters for the Right to Education Exhibition: Its Lessons for the Enforcement of Fundamental Rights

Between 8 December 2011 and 8 January 2012 the Institute of Heritage Conservation and Restoration hosted the 100 Posters for the Right to Education Exhibition to celebrate the International Human Rights Day. In this essay Dr. Angelo Kakande analyse a selection of posters to expose the visual and legal issues behind the right to education in Uganda and the point at which the exhibition intersected with this right.

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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).

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This Is Uganda: Artwork in Progress

At this year’s This Is Uganda-festival young people shared ideas, promoted their artistic merchandise and learnt a thing or two about culture. Some came to see, some came to feel, other came to show off. There were simple art projects with global consequences, but was there a real message? Henry Mzili Mujunga reviews the arts and crafts at TIU 2011.

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East African Art Summit 2011: The coming together of creative minds

“The time has finally arrived that Africa begin to look to Africa for answers. We are starting to think about making East Africa our market place. But we can not go far without drastically improving the quality of our products. For too long we have made inefficient production schedules and products. On the other hand, a myriad of questions are raised to which answers cannot be immediately found. Still, these questions must be asked and answered if our art is to grow into the cultural void in which we find ourselves.” Ugandan visual artist SANE reflects on the East African Art Summit.

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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.

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Great Achievements by Makerere Ceramists

Ceramics is a cultural tradition with millennia of history, and the ceramics show that opened on November 4th at the Makerere University Art gallery was about breaking old barriers and pushing back new ones. Combined with a flair for suspension, it was bolder and even more exciting than the last ceramics exhibition at the same venue.

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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.

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Vision for Africa Pottery Workshop: A case study for traditional African design

Carola Tengler is a ceramicist who spent her career making and teaching pottery in Austria, her home country. In 2003, she joined the Vision for Africa project in Mukono district, Uganda. Carola’s vision is to bring value and expertise to the traditional African forms and patterns as manifested in the field of pottery. She argues that there is a traditional African form and design that is unique to Africa, and therefore must be uplifted and used to create unique works and not works that are trying to copy other cultures’ ideals.

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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.

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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.

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The Gospel of Evolution through Sane’s Brush Strokes

“Is it then possible that Sane, whose devout Christian credentials are well documented, attempts to bridge the long-standing cleft between science and the gospel using the powerful medium of art? … What is not doubtable, however, is that love him or hate him, Sane’s brand of brush strokes remains among the few that continue to exude a stunning medley of independence, cerebral and artistic radiance.” Nathan Kiwere reviews.

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