Social commentary, emotions on canvas

Saturday May 18 2024

“Serenity” Kizito Maria Kasule. PHOTO | BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI | NMG


Umoja Art Gallery’s latest exhibition is featuring two of Uganda’s finest visual artists Kizito Maria Kasule and Godfrey Banadda, who are offering their social commentary in colourful artworks in a show titled “Strokes of Splendour.”

Banadda has 14 paintings on display at the exhibition that opened at the Umoja Art Gallery in Kampala on April 26 and will close May 20.

Banadda’s artworks are Reflections of Addiction, Birds in Flight, Fishy Woman, The Libation, The Bond, Nabuzaana, Namunye (The Census), The King (Power Devolution), Serpent of Eden, Waves and Schools, Behind The Face,Crested Crane, The Defiler,” and Rejuvenation.”

Kizito has 11 paintings, which include The Spirits of Innocence, Serenity, Memories of Childhood, Different But One, Their Story, Hope, Once Upon A Time, The Desire To Be free, and “Freedom.

“The oval forms dominate this painting to remind the viewer the importance oneness and the responsibility humanity has to struggle for peace, unity. The brilliant oranges, greens blues and purple colours suggest a state of peace which can be attained if we can try to live in peace with one another,” he adds.

Read: Artists explore themes around womanhood


“Memories of Childhood” depicts a woman in an oval shape carrying her baby in her arms. “This painting is rooted from my personal childhood life experiences. In it I try to trace my personal experience with my mother. She is the parent I knew in my life. This is not to say that I didn’t have a father. I did have a father. But my childhood memories are strongly connected to my mother. She is the person who played important role in my life. She was the centre of my life. She is the person who was there for me and supported me. I can’t define my early childhood experiences without referring to my mother,” Kizito says.

Adding: “It is through our connection to our mothers that we discover who we are. The childhood experience we acquire from our mother form character which we letter share with the people we marry or we develop relationship with. In this painting I bring out the emotional connection I had from my mother and I pay tribute to her and to many wonderful other mothers who have nurtured many leaders of our societies.”

“Different But One” shows three conjoined oval women with four eyes, four arms and three noses and three mouths in a sitting posture. “In life we are different. We are born of different parents but we always meet at one stage in life. Our connection to one another is inborn. It is within us and it is a divine gift we get from our creator…,” Kizito says.

Read: Sculpture show explores complexity of human body

“Hope” shows four conjoined oval women with seven eyes, four noses, four mouths, five arms, and three legs sitting on a bench. “Hope is a sense of being positive,” Kizito says. “It is a sense of being expectant. It is a feeling that one day despite everything happening to you, despite everything happening in society, one day your expectations, your goals, your desire will be fulfilled…”

“Once upon a time” a nude woman lying down while resting her right arm and left hand on a stool. According to Kizito, “Once upon a time,” is a painting telling the story of the origin of man. “It is a narrative about Eva, the mother from whom we descended. It is a story about Nambi, the Eva, the mother the Baganda…”