By Angelo Kakande. Although military dictatorship has distorted governance, the rule of law and constitutionalism, and caused fear, hopelessness, loss of life and property throughout Uganda’s post-colonial history, it is also a rich and productive metaphor whose visual expression is steeped in a corrupted Western concept[ion] of modern public opinion. In this article I engage this proposition to re-examine selected artworks in the context of Uganda’s socio-political history in the period 1986-2016 – a period of Uganda’s history dominated by the ruling National Resistance Movement (also called the NRM).Read More >>
What happens to Fanon’s followers during liberation? In what condition is Fanon’s nativism when revolution gives birth to independence from the terror of colonialism? How does Fanon translate to the cultural and economic development of present day Africa? Serubiri Moses turns to Eria Solomon Nsubuga’s recent exhibition for answers.Read More >>
At the launch of Another Roadmap Africa Cluster, at Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design (NIAAD) on 25th July 2015, some of the panelists choose to address the audience in Luganda, a local language in Uganda. The initial impression on the invited guests that included academics, artists, art managers and writers was of confusion and awkwardness.Read More >>
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’.Read More >>
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.
As persistent pleas are made to artists to create art with local significance the artists are caught up in a web of conflicted interest. On the one hand, they want to break away from the mould of Western art history bestowed onto them by university art education.Read More >>
Artachat is a series of six discussions and debates addressing topical issues surrounding visual art in Uganda. The aim is to encourage critical thinking, bring new ideas and inspirations amongst other. The first one recently took place at 32º East in Kansanga.Read More >>
In this third and final part of a three-part essay, Angelo Kakende reviews the recent Nude 2012-exhibition at FasFas: “Nudes 2012 was different from Nude 2000, Nude 2001… It was mobilised with local resources and initiatives. This created the burden of the need to sell and recover costs. In my opinion, it is this economic incentive which affected the positions the artists took while. They treaded carefully avoiding the risk of offending anyone.”Read More >>
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.Read More >>
“It had never occurred to me that setting up twelve shipping containers across the city could account for a festival, but it certainly did when the shipping containers were translated into art exhibition points. This was the Kampala Contemporary Art Festival dubbed ‘12 artists, 12 locations’ and it ran from 7th-14th October with a theme ‘12 Boxes Moving’.” Elizabeth Namakula reviews.Read More >>
“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.Read More >>
“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.Read More >>
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.Read More >>
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.Read More >>
“Artists must become more visible and more aggressive in their social dealings. Their messages should become more provocative and defiant. The writers should take time to write about their own work and make sure it is published regularly.” Eria ‘Sane’ Nsubuga speaks out about the steady decline in representation of artist and message in Ugandan media.Read More >>