Students and Masters
By Eria Nsubuga
Twelve students from Nkumba University’s School of Commercial Industrial Art and Design (SCIAD) collaborated to produce a piece inspired by European masters. How did they choose the Picasso and van Gogh? As their supervisor, I tasked them with making a fusion composition of Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror, Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Botticelli’s’ The birth of Venus. These iconic works are in their own right a daunting project, but trying to put three distinct philosophies together was a unique challenge. Van Gogh’s Sunflowers were used to inspire a part of the composition, while the inspiration of the famous Picasso work Girl Before a Mirror offers a great possibility to Africanise Picasso and remake his work as a powerful motif to an African community on one hand, but also serving to ‘return the concept’ to a European who was inspired by African art and life. In this public space we use art as a potent tool to actively engage the community.
The students almost didn’t complete the work because of the scale of this task, both mentally and physically. In January 2014, Hussein Kawuki, Michael Ntege, Andrew Muwonge, Nasif Kirungi, Rogers Muwanga, Dickon Twinamasiko, Viola Ainomugisha, Marion Abaho, Ivan Teefe, Douglas Mwesiga, Thomas Opio, and Jude Tamwesigire installed the final piece. This work is a greatly optimistic and invites viewers to study or further discover the hidden gems within Nkumba University.