East Africans showcase their work at Prizm art fair

Thursday December 02 2021
John Bosco Muramuzi's "In the Village Compound".

John Bosco Muramuzi's "In the Village Compound". PHOTO | TEWAS ART GALLERY


Art works by Kenya’s Nadia Wamunyu, John Bosco Muramuzi of Uganda and Khalid Abdel Rahman of Sudan will be on display at Prizm Gallery in Miami, Florida.

Some 60 emerging and established artists will feature at this annual exhibition, now its 9th edition, “offering their varied Diasporic narratives and perspectives.”

Due to the pandemic, the fair is taking place via online programmes and virtual experiences. The trio is being curated by Nairobi-based Tewas Art Gallery, founded in 2019 by art consultant Thaddeus ‘Tewa’ Wamukoya.

“The three were selected in consultation with the fair director, Mikhaile Solomon, and influenced by this year’s curatorial theme,” said Tewa.

Sexual harassment

Wamunyu’s seven mixed media works on watercolour paper titled the Mirror Series are a reflection of herself. Muscular, semi-nude black females in white bathing suits, in different half-squat and bold poses.


They reflect on black women’s bodies, sexual harassment and feminism, as well as female strength and boldness. Tewa says, “One thing that fascinates me about Nadia and her work is her constant desire to communicate about herself, her past, her daily struggles and her dreams,” says Tewa.

Multimedia artist Muramuzi, 40, is presenting three acrylics on canvas paintings. One of them, In Village Compound, is a detailed illustration of rural life, mesmerising for its intricacy and narrative elements.

He terms his work, “imaginary views of the environment [and] memories of the journey from my village to Kampala and other places I have lived.” He includes ‘unseen places’ in his paintings in order to depict the environment as he wishes to see it.

Rahman, 43, is known for his abstract architectural scenes of Khartoum city neighbourhoods and a slowly disappearing middle class as people are forced to emigrate in search of a better life. “My work is an extension of the Sufi poetic tradition that values the eye of contentment or the good eye that sees beauty in everything,” he says.