Monday , October 25 2021
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ARTS: Beauty of birds

Top conservationist art show in Kampala

Kampala, Uganda | DOMINIC MUWANGUZI | Ugandan Ivan Yakuze who has built a globally recognised name in the niche of artists working with traditional fabric to create startling artworks has an ongoing exhibition in Kampala.

Usually, Yakuze’s discerning eye for the unusual keeps everyone guessing what his next creation will be like. Now visitors can revel in his combination of organic material with symbolic objects like key holders and beads to represent specific cultural and social issues in an experimental approach.

Once again, he pushes the boundaries of his creativity further into studio deftness. He has works made out of banana fibre that are exceptionally awesome. Unlike the figurative approach in his series of barkcloth artworks, for this exhibition titled “The aesthetics through Nature”, the artist is mostly realistic in approach. He creates incredible compositions of birds often perching sweetly and innocently on a solitary tree branch here and there.

He creates birds like the great blue turaco, white and black horn bill, saddle billed stock, shoe-bill and horn bill. Most of these are found in different neighbourhoods of his local communityin central Uganda but little attention is given to their identity and what possibly they could represent in our day to day life. Although Yakuze targets birders; the people mainly from Europe and North America whose hobby is to watch birds, his art is not touristy. It is good art that appeals to a diverse audience through colourful displays and creative ingenuity. His works combine nature conservation, environmental preservation, and painting in one art. The trichotomy provides enduring visual effects mainly in monochromatic hues. From a critical perspective, the paintings have a three dimension effect running through them much similar to sculptures. Interestingly this quality in the lanky artist’s works is influenced by his art school days where at Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art, he artist specialised in sculpture and painting.

Yakuze is not a birder; a person whose hobby is to watch birds, but his pieces express his conscious of their benefit to the community as a symbol of beauty and lively environment.

His collages, created from barkcloth stitched together, and synthetic and found materials like wires, plastic bottle tops, aluminum plates, cowrie- shells and beads glued onto the organic surface, suggest an artist who is conscious about his immediate surroundings and cultural background. His method results into simple but not simplistic compositions. His forte elevates his work to the status of “one of the best artists on the local artist scene”.

“The aesthetic s through Nature” exhibition is showing at AKA Gallery on Bukoto Street next to Alliance Francaise Office, Kampala.

(This week’s THE INDEPENDENT #CoronaVirus Special Edition is online-only and available to all our readers. Read the other articles in the magazine here –click



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