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Kampala’s artists come to life

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st August 2011 03:00 AM

OVER three years ago, they changed concept, stopped holding art exhibitions as they concentrated on other things. Now, Design Agenda gallery is back. In a reasonably grand way, I should say.

OVER three years ago, they changed concept, stopped holding art exhibitions as they concentrated on other things. Now, Design Agenda gallery is back. In a reasonably grand way, I should say.

By Stephen Ssenkaaba

OVER three years ago, they changed concept, stopped holding art exhibitions as they concentrated on other things. Now, Design Agenda gallery is back. In a reasonably grand way, I should say.

The gallery located opposite Kampala City Council reopened with an art exhibit of some of Kampala’s seasoned artists. John Mary Mukiza, Edward Waddimba, Ronex Ahimbisibwe, Samson Ssenkaaba (Xenson), Zein Bukenya, Ronnex Ahimbisibwe are the exhibitors.

The exhibition which teems with variety started two weeks ago and will close next week. Waddimba showcases his wrought iron functional pieces — living room sofas, dining sets and candle holders. His knack for calm firm black iron finishings contrasted with brighter creamy cushions is impressive. But it is his way around painting that invites.

He has done his work cubist style, complete with geometric patterns and angular forms. He works well with the blues, browns and green and also celebrates the human form. His sculpture work is impressive too; it reeks of the traditional African mask.

John Mary Mukiza has never been this abstract; his forms are blurred and his experimentation with shouting, abrasive whites, blues, blacks and yellows is daring. I long for his simpler portraits.

Ahimbisibwe has gone miniature, producing various smaller sized collages in different colours. Ronnex has a way around forms inspired by Sudanese, Arabic art.

Xenson is a bit of a disappointment here, having managed just a handful of paintings in brown monochromes. The very versatile artist does not do his legendary creative streak any favours in this show and perhaps deservedly so, his colleagues’ works overshadow his own.

Zein Bukenya plods the simple, realistic path and does a good job of it. He celebrates the human figure, which he portrays in vivid colours such as green and gold and his work is sensual. It is an exhibit worth visiting.

Kampala’s artists come to life

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