Isolation develops patience and creativity

Monday May 25 2020

'Bridge of Life' by Isaac Karimwabo.

'Bridge of Life' by Isaac Karimwabo. PHOTO | KARI MUTU 

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Realist artist Isaac Karimwabo from Uganda is finding that the calmness and quiet that comes with lockdowns has fuelled his patience and creativity.

Karimwabo is now painting realistic portraits in navy blue on white backgrounds. He chose this style because his other materials run out. The results are no less inspiring especially the intimate mother and child scenes such as The Bridge of Life. Here a seated woman in a strapless African-print dress holds up and kisses her baby, their features captured in amazing detail.

He is aware that there is heightened fear, panic and depression. “I am inspired to paint works to encourage people about being hopeful.” One such painting is How Does the Silent Queen Find the Light, which shows the back of a woman carrying a baby in a traditional animal hide baby carrier. Once again, the details are impeccable such as the thick fur of the baby carrier, the folds of the woman’s headdress, brass bracelets, amulets and her patterned skirt.

This drawing is Karimwabo’s tribute to single mothers trying to meet everyday demands. Also among the blue pen works is an illustration called Again where a happy child is holding a narrow wooden plank, which reference back to the children’s portraits that Karimwabo is known for. Seven Pieces of Oneness, is a semi-abstract nature painting of using different materials and features seven thin trees growing along a body of water. It is the first semi-realistic nature painting Karimwabo has done but he does not plan to continue in this line.