When astronauts return from space, many of them report that their perspective of life on earth has been transformed for the better. All differences, borders and barriers seem less important when you’ve seen the planet from 250 miles (400 km) above the surface, they say. For this reason, BBC features journalist Richard Hollingham argues we should send more people to orbit too: artists, musicians… and even politicians.
Whereas the latter category did not surprise me, I found the inclusion of artists quite intriguing. But thinking deeper about it made me consider that artists would do well seeing things from the perspective of the astronaut – imagining an illimitable world where all barriers are lifted and a total expression of freedom is made possible. But then is this not what the many schooled artists purport to depict in their works anyway? They use the phrase “stretching the limits” to defy established norms and take their audiences into unfamiliar territory using techniques such as post-modernism. Paul Sendagire is not known to use these lofty assertions in his art, neither does he claim to portray the world from the erudite perspective of ‘seeing from above’, as Hollingham suggests. Perhaps he wishes to come across as a ‘down to earth’ creator with disdain for the arrogance perpetuated by aesthetic scholarship. If this description is close to what he is, then a close scrutiny of his works will certainly betray that perception.
“My art is a clear reflection of my character traits, vision and perceptions,” Sendagire asserts, referring to his penchant for telling stories, especially made-up ones. He likes to be heard so much that he will usually stands out in any group. As if that is not enough, even while in his quiet studio with no one present he will stop at nothing to continue telling his fictitious stories using images. He says he is largely inspired by social commentary, portraying the mundane happenings around him but always with a comic tweak to it. He never tells things as they are. He will try to look at the angle that the rest of us are unable to see.