Review by Sophie Alal
Published in The East African July 27th, 2009.
There is a saying that old people’s bodies speak for themselves, as they record the experiences they have been through. And the same thing could also be said about everyday objects. So what would your old buttons, pots and pans say if they could talk?
The exhibition “Personalities” by Rose Namubiru Kirumira was influenced by the stories of things that are lost or thrown away and somehow resurface in the decay of the city. This is the junk that you stumble upon as you walk along dusty roads, such as coins of antique quality, rusted bottle tops, and abandoned cooking pots and pansEntering the exhibition, one is drawn to some ovate shapes tapered at each end. These are bowls made of burnished rich red wood inlaid with copper, silver, steel and aluminium. A few had been hollowed out to form two or even three bowls. From afar a singular oval perched on top of the rest looks more like a gigantic eye resting on stalks.
The artist’s theory is that objects gather a history of their own, “A bowl is something that sees and experiences, it gathers stock through what you put in it. Each has its own experience and understanding,” said the 46 year old lecturer from Makerere University.