Category: Visual Art

The bright tones of Katanga

Photography in Uganda has for many years been shrouded in darkness. It is an aspect of visual arts rarely talked about and largely thought to be a preserve for journalists. Even then, photo journalists are never celebrated as such because they are often accused of treating their subject matter as objects; often doctoring the images to suit their taste and ambitions. To reverse this trend, Arthur Kisitu started the Mu Katanga project which among other things was to show the right picture of Katanga; with no distortions whatsoever.

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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.

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Can you really find your favourite Ugandan visual artists online?

Eight out of ten Ugandan visual artists publish information about themselves and/or their work online. Facebook is currently the most popular way of maintaining ones online identity, but the full-time artists and the experienced artists maintain a wider range of websites, and seem to benefit from that. Startjournal.org has conducted a survey about artists’ first experiences being online.

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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’.

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Behind the Artwork: Taga’s ‘Changing Kampala’

In this new category of articles, Startjournal.org will present the Story Behind an Artwork. We will be interviewing leading East African visual artists about one particular work of art, trying to explain their reasons for and struggles with creating that one piece of art. First out is the Ugandan watercolor master Taga Francis Nuwagaba and his recent painting ’Changing Kampala’ (watercolor on paper, 2011) .

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Contemplating the Early Years Exhibition, Moving Past Propaganda: A Critical Review

In this essay Dr. Angelo Kakande reviews The Early Years: Paintings from the Collection, 1960s-Mid 1980. He places it in Uganda’s history since 1958. In the process he revises some of the positions taken by its organisers; while he questions others. He demonstrates and argues that a contemplation of the wider context of Uganda’s social, economic and political history, which is embodied in some of the works on show, reveals not simply a failed past, but also a pathetic presence and an uncertain political future.

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Sane: Artists should put their creative minds into Ugandan culture

Ugandan artists must be passionate students of Ugandan tribal cultural norms and values, artifacts, material culture, and oral history if they are to win back their much needed relevance. Artists should go ‘native’, then perhaps it would be more interesting for the local language newspapers to write about visual arts. Sane sums up some discussion points after an Art Forum at Goethe Zentrum.

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How to Curate Your Own Art Exhibit

Curation can be described as the sorting and presentation of work/art for presentation to an audience. Its role is pivotal to the reception of work from the artist or gallery to the target audience, and it plays a major role in the success or failure of selling work. Photographer Roshan Karmali gives you some key ideas if you want to curate your own artwork.

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David Oduki at ‘Let Us Share Beauty’: “Adapt exhibitions to global trends”

David Oduki, the co-founder of Royal African Foundation, attended the opening of the exhibition “Let Us Share Beauty” in Utrecht, the Netherlands. “Local galleries in Uganda should be aware of global trends and adapt exhibitions to those trends. They also should promote the likes of Collin Sekajugo and explain their recycling message to the local public,” David Oduki tells Startjournal.

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Wasswa Donald: I Speak Elephanish

Whether as a proprietor of @rt Punch Studios, or as a painter, or sculptor, or clothing designer, or as a teacher, Wasswa Donald’s full-bore involvement in the Uganda art scene as one of Uganda’s top contemporary artists frequently earns praise, but it’s his wildlife paintings that provoke the most discussion.

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Art the mirror of our politics

The students of Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design recently held an exhibition entitled ”Art the mirror of our politics” at the Makerere Art Gallery. What makes their work different and unique is that it has been produced and exhibited in the very same period when election exercises are still going on at the lower levels and people’s memories on these elections are still fresh in their mind.

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The new dawn of the MishMash Experience

The Uganda art scene is increasingly getting more exciting and rather competitive with each passing month. After the successful launch of the Signature art exhibition – with its pomp and glamour – last year at the Serena Hotel, another artistic event, MishMash, has debuted on the art scene making art lovers and artists again very optimistic about art in Uganda.

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Group studios in Uganda: The Challenges of a Collective

In 2007, when Start Magazine covered the story of Mona Studio, there was an air of great expectations for the cause of young artists working together. It was a case of two charismatic artists slowly but surely etching their way into an indifferent community in Kamwokya, a suburb of Kampala city. Edison Mugalu and Anwar Nakibinge were forging an art collective to make an impact on the local community. And they almost pulled it off, but for the ignorance of one major factor at play in any alliance; the divergence of vested interests.

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