Friday April 4 2014

An artist’s chat with garbage

One of the artworks at the exhibition. PHOTO by

One of the artworks at the exhibition. PHOTO by Edgar R Batte 

By Joash Yose

If you were to stumble on the Garbage Collectors exhibition at the Uganda National Museum on Kitante Road in Kampala last weekend, the first thing that would strike you is the affinity between the artworks on display. For this dazzling, small-scale exhibition is the visual equivalent of a conversation.

These artworks on display are a result of collective talents of visual artists, Ronex Ahimbisibwe, Hellen Nabukenya, Xenson, Sandra Suubi and Bruno Ruganzu. It explores environmental conservation at the same time and seeks to transcend it.

One will find almost no information about the artists themselves, except for the brochure they get at the reception and the sense is that the art has come out of nowhere but from the subconscious of these artists and how they use it to tackle the issue of environmental degradation through poor garbage collection.
The artists were battling to inform the public that their refuse, like the polythene can be recycled into something beautiful.
The show includes intimate and moving portraits, as well as other ways of representing the self. Many of the artworks portray an element of life like that of a woman and birds, which are potent metaphors for preserving nature.

These pieces of art comprise polythene bags, cans and plastic bottles. Two artworks you won’t escape are the one with a dummy’s head and hands that stood prominent at the entrance of the museum with stretched out octopus limbs.

The most outstanding pieces were The Goddess of Garbage and Power Within by Sandra Suubi.
The exhibition gently urges the public not to ignore the relevance of proper garbage disposal. Its uplifting suggestion is that there are many uses of rubbish. You can drop by the Museum and witness for yourself.