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Sentimental art is simply beautiful

By Dominic Muwanguzi

An artist takes his love for his wife and child to the gallery

The art of sentimentality is an apt description of Amos Sentongo works currently on show at Karibu Art Gallery in Bukoto, Kampala.  The artist calls his collection of highly expressive pieces that appear rooted in his devout Christian life, `Simply Beautiful’.

Visitors will be enchanted by his warm palette of greens, orange, red, sunny yellow, pink, black and brown. These colours, he says, symbolise the environment he lives in at Watoto Church Community. They are also intended to celebrate the mood of living a positive life full of love, joy, humility and peace.

His secondary motifs, including fishes and flowers, also allude to his being Christian. They evoke early church practice of using fish as a metaphor for Christians.

He uses the flowers, which dominate most of his paintings, as a sign of love shared between people.

The artist’s sentimentality is further portrayed in the titling of paintings like; “My first steps” that he dedicates to his one-and- half year old son, Christian.

The painting measuring 60cmx90cm is made of paper collage, a rainbow of warm colors, his child’s first pair of shoes and the toddler’s finger prints.

“Every time I pick up the brush to paint, he does the same,” says Amos with a broad grin that shows off his excitement.

“Truly beautiful” tells the story of the close bond he and his wife have with the child. The painting has the artist holding his son in a very intimate way.

Like the norm is with most of his paintings, the artist employs circular patterns in his work that denote his love for fabric design.

“I love fabrics,” he confesses.

Aside from the painting, he does fabric design in the form of tie and dye.

The other outstanding feature in his work is the women in form of vertical panels, but with a slanting posture. He says these are a dedication to the love he has with his mother and the slanting posture signifies motion or rather life in the figures.

“The slanting women” is a very curious innovation by the artist. While many artists employ static women in their paintings, Amos’ lively women do not only create an identity for him, but breathe life in his paintings.

This is Amos’ second exhibition since 2012 and looking at his work, one appreciates the time, creativity and innovation he invests in.

Karibu Art Gallery is located in Bukoto, along Kisasi Road 500metres from Kabira Country Club. The exhibition opened on Dec. 6 and will remain open until Dec. 28.

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