Fine artists, the erstwhile masters of using their hands and minds to create, are constantly raising their social status in Uganda.
Many are trying to elevate their profiles like the musicians here have over the last decade. To succeed, the fine artists paint, draw, carve and mould what is socially relevant to the communities.
Ronex Ahimbisibwe is one of the most adept fine artists in the Ugandan fine art industry, who considers timing for every art piece he releases very important. During the ‘controversial art exhibition’ at the end of March at AfriArt Gallery, Ahimbisibwe’s exclusive art piece was about acid attacks, one of the most common criminal cases in our society today.
Such attacks have disfigured people’s faces, that is, assuming they survive to see the light of day again. To demonstrate the damage, Ahimbisibwe used his usual brass material to mould a disfigured face. Stuck against a polythene material supported by a wooden picture frame, the polythene is also a little bit burnt.
Ahimbisibwe said he did this to remind whoever looked at this piece of the danger of the vice. But perhaps nothing has gripped much of Uganda for the last five years, than human sacrifice. Dr Lilian Nabulime portrays this in her piece with three human heads made from clay.
Placed between two pieces of wood that have been decimated by termites, and clearly having specks of anthill soil, it shows that such heinous actions are carried out mostly in the gardens or deep in the bushes.
The heads are also tied up with a rope and nails to show the harrowing torture victims undergo. This is good art, albeit different from anything you are used to.