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Friday,August 14,2020 13:27 PM

Mistress of the chisel

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th July 2002 03:00 AM

The ability to transform wood trunks into appealing works of art is what is referred to as wood sculpture. If you want to explore this aspect of art and fully satisfy your curiosity, you should borrow a leaf from this ‘mistress of chisel’ – Mrs. Syl

The ability to transform wood trunks into appealing works of art is what is referred to as wood sculpture. If you want to explore this aspect of art and fully satisfy your curiosity, you should borrow a leaf from this ‘mistress of chisel’ – Mrs. Syl

By Nathan Kiwere The ability to transform wood trunks into appealing works of art is what is referred to as wood sculpture. If you want to explore this aspect of art and fully satisfy your curiosity, you should borrow a leaf from this ‘mistress of chisel’ – Mrs. Sylvia Katende, who has been executing sculpture for while now. It has won her considerable recognition. Katende was born 39 years ago in Masaka and is married with two children. She went to Trinity College Nabingo and Caltec Academy for her ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels respectively. Thereafter, she joined the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art for her Bachelors in Fine Arts and later for masters in the same. She now teaches drawing at the same school. While passing by her little studio-cum-office at the school of fine art, Makerere, my eyes caught sight of a number of woodcarvings that she has sculpted over time and one particular piece captured my imagination. The mystery that surrounded this piece was so compelling that I was prompted to seek out the artist and find out a little more about it, and, thanks be to God, she was kind enough to acquaint me with the details. The nature of her composition expresses her innermost desire to portray the dynamics of a young girl living in a perverse society, riddled with countless social suffering and anguish. In her sculpture piece titled ‘Agony’, she portrays a young innocent girl who is experiencing an acute problem. The derived meaning here is that a young girl, however innocent, could experience a serious problem at any point in time. She used a method of construction that involves joining of different shapes of wood to form a composition. A closer look at her sculpture shows an abstract wooden piece of an agonising young girl. She uses sharp geometric shapes to explain sorrow, knowing well that sharpness continually manifests in the entire sculpture. The artist employs the heavy use of lines to enhance her expression. There is also an emphatic use of curves and straight lines that define the different forms on the body. The entire volume rests on a curved wood that renders it a firmly balanced big collection of art works that have accumulated over the years. Apart from woodcarvings, she also has works made out of fired clay, and other media, but her dominant inspiration remains the human figure. She also has an unquenchable zeal for drawing and painting. She is the author of the monument that stands in Kampala recreational grounds in which she uses geometric forms. She emerged as the number one contender in the competition though Prof. Sengendo executed the actual artwork. Katende has also participated in several exhibitions in Kampala, and other countries including Italy, Netherlands, Botswana and USA. Her ardent desire is to become a renowned sculptress. And who says has not.

Mistress of the chisel

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