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ARTS: Sadat stays loyal to style

`Beauty & Fabric Tales’ exhibit mirrors Anwar shows value of consistence

| DOMINIC MUWANGUZI | Pushed by the prevailing hunger to stay relevant, many artists are fast shifting styles to embrace new art forms, audiences, and markets. Anwar Sadat Nakibinge is different.

His ongoing show at Umoja Art Gallery in Kampala is dominated by his usual figurative style of primary and secondary symbols together with a partitioned canvas. His compositions are unchanged too. He showcases paintings that carry the familiar figurative figures of baobab trees, craning giraffes and elephants that have come to define him as a social commenter. He employs these images to respond to social issues in his community.

“Sometimes artists are too quick to abandon their style and yet they would have discovered something interesting. On my part, the more I work with this style, the further I discover new things,” he says.

The exhibit is themed `Beauty and Fabric Tales’ and the only slight deviation is the artist’s application of a tertiary palette of monochromic colours instead of the primary colours that he often uses. It is his way of depicting the battle between the forces of continuity and exhaustion. In another experimental move, he paints his composition on backgrounds of grey, white and purple. Working in primary monochromes is an idea he has shied away from in the past. Venturing depicts bravery and mastery on canvas.

The result of such innovation is a beautiful showcase of decorative images that highlight his maturity in the craft. It creates consistence in his application of figures in the compositions and creatively use fabric collage within his paintings.

“Before I would use these symbols in my compositions and there was no consistence or relationship with a particular idea. Now it is different. Everything is linked together to form one concept,” he says.

One of the most outstanding aspects of his work is the way the compositions in his paintings are similar but not repetitive. Here, each painting carries its own personality and message thereby engaging the viewer into myriad reactions and relief. More so, the construction of his paintings into different segments inspires different interpretations. On one hand, it can be argued that each segment presents a particular painting; while on the other hand, a segment can be understood as a window into the whole painting.

As the artist inspires commentary on social issues like environment sustainability, family and culture, beneath this narrative is an illustration of his growth through self-discovery. His resolve to maintain his style leads to discovery and development of new elements. Everything culminates in further engagement of his audiences and establishment of a unique identity for himself and his craft.

The exhibit is open for one month at Umoja Art gallery. Umoja Art gallery is located in Kamwokya opposite Kobil Petrol Station.


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