The Stray Bulletin

Arts and culture in East Africa and beyond

An Ode To Endless Beauty April 19, 2010

Published in on Tue 09-03-2010, and The EastAfrican on 05-04-2010

A two-man show currently at Tulifanya Gallery in Kampala unites, for the first time, two previous winners of the coveted ‘Discoveries Young Artists’ Exhibition’ of 2007 and 2009 Ronald ‘Ro’ Odokotho and Yusuf Kiire Ngula respectively.

The artists, whose works are on show from February 20th to March 13th 2010, work exclusively in acrylics.

Untitled by Yusuf Ngula

Born in 1986, Ngula says that from secondary school, he realized that there was a side to him that was “arty”, even though his parents dictated different avenues that would make it easier for their children to succeed in life. It was not by accident but sheer determination, that he pursued his interest in art.

And although circumstances dictated that he pursue a more tenable career, even after graduating from the Makerere Business School, he continued to see art as a “side business.”

As a self-taught artist, his work is different from what we have experienced from formally trained artists. He has cleared up any doubts about his ability by collaborating with a couple of renowned Ugandan contemporary artists liked Paulo Akiiki, Mark Kassi, Ismail Damba, Juuko Hood and Yusuf Ssali – collaborations that undoubtedly helped him hone his craft.

He paints subjects based on the two great influences of modern times; war and television.

“I can’t say my art is based upon African art – in Uganda, someone telling you that?” He shakes his head incredulously. “Except if he is from the sixties. But we have matured; in front of TV, the books we read, from comics and movies we watch, from the language we talk to what we are taught in school. The context applies in my art.”

Read full article here


If your old pots and pans could speak, what would they say? November 27, 2009

Filed under: Art reviews — Sophie Alal @ 11:49 am
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Review by Sophie Alal

Published in The East African July 27th, 2009.

Family Portrait, by Rose Kirumira.

Family Portrait, by Rose Kirumira.

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.