ART: Wood and fabric in joint exhibition on safe spaces

Friday July 19 2019

'Maama' By Lilian Nabulime. PHOTO | COURTESY


Ugandan artist Lilian Nabulime, famous for her wood carvings, is holding a joint exhibition with Maria Brinch, a Norwegian artist.

The exhibition, titled Embodiment of Reason, opened on July 11 at the Uganda Museum in Kampala, and will run until July 31. It is curated by Martha Kazungu.

The exhibition is a part of an ongoing project called Tuwaje, which helps create safe spaces for female artists.

The initiative is supported by the Norwegian Crafts and the Office for Contemporary Art Norway.

On show is Nabulime’s installation Drip, made with wood, tubes, strings and balloons. It depicts a bedridden woman on a drip suffering from Aids.

Another installation, Shattered Lives, is a wooden table with copper boiler tops and three mirrors, two of which are shattered. It portrays a woman who has just learnt that she has HIV/Aids, and the aftermath.


The different colours of the mirrors represent the different races in the world to indicate that HIV/Aids does not know colour.

Winnowing has a scrim, flat baskets, nails, cowrie shells, wood, beans, groundnuts, latex, glass and used tea bags.

Nabulime’s other sculptures are clay reliefs on wooden blocks, wood panels and aluminum.

Brinch’s three tapestries — Strong Water on Wool 1, 2, and 3 — consist of printed and painted wool. The printed photographs are both washed out and painted on, then layered with coloured canvas.

Her laminated work Less Max in Plastic consists of printed and painted wool flattened within plastic.

Brinch’s folded duplex painting Nasser Road on Cardboard is done on recycled paper.

“Both artists use materials as powerful conduits to meaning and interpretation. Nabulime’s work demonstrates the functionality of the material. With objects like soap, seeds, wood, metal, plastic, she is successfully able to communicate about the story of HIV/Aids.

“Brinch comes in with a brilliant juxtaposition of fabric not only as the dominant material of her art but also as a main inspiration to her creativity. Unlike Nabulime, who displays her materials, Brinch is more interested in concealing by folding the fabric,” Kazungu said.