By Stephen Ssenkaaba
Rubbish is rubbish. We don’t want to see much of it. We try to avoid it as much as possible. Some people though do not seem to agree. They think rubbish is gold. You can use it; you can play with it and make great things from it.
An exhibition opens on Friday (March 28), at the Uganda Museum in which five artists showcase huge pieces of art made from garbage. Runing under the theme don’t trash it, art it, function it, the exhibition features works by Samson Ssenkaaba (Xenson), Bruno Ruganzu, Sandra Suubi, Ronex Ahimbisibwe and Helen Nabukenya.
This exhibition is part of a project called “garbage collectors- organized by Afrika Arts collective, a Kampala based creative arts consortium. It seeks to use art as a vehicle for social change.
Each of the artists here has used different material to produce interesting images. Xenson works with used beer cans while Ronex uses bottle tops. Suubi experiments with old mineral water bottles while Nabukenya works with fabrics discarded by tailors and seamstresses.
Ruganzu uses Polythene bags. All artworks, produced over a five months period are captivating. One particular one though is interesting: Sandra Suubi’s piece of conceptual art.
It is an image of freedom and self-realization depicted by life springing out of broken eggs-shells and spreading out in the open air. The flying object appears in unmistakable fluorescent green colour made from tiny round cuttings of Mountain Dew bottles. It depicts the possibilities that await those that are ready to venture out.
It is also a poignant reminder of the simple, humble beginnings from where great dreams emerge. “Suubi’s work bears round rhythmic patterns formed by the used mineral water bottles. It is an intricate design that will engage the brain and evoke many questions.
The other artists also dazzle and intrigue with their interesting take on life. They each have varying interpretations. Above all they want the public to relate with their work, to ask questions and to share knowledge. Already, three of the artists- Suubi, Ahimbisibwe and Ruganzu are working with university students and street kids, teaching them how to use recycled materials to produce art.
On Saturday, the exhibition will go to various community spaces, art galleries and universities.