Tuesday March 21 2017

Art that dares the two sides of love

Joseph Ntensibe (2nd left) speaks to art lovers

Joseph Ntensibe (2nd left) speaks to art lovers during the launch of A Love that Dares art exhibition at Afriart Gallery on Seventh Street, Industrial Area on March 7. Photo by Edgar R. Batte 


Love has been described with some of the sweetest of words but also bitter adjectives when it turns sour or faces challenges. Works by four seasons artists mirror love in its full fold but also leave room for you to exercise your imagination too.
Joseph Ntensibe, Theresa Musoke, Sanaa Gateja, Mira Nair and Zuleika Kingdon opened their exhibition, titled ‘A Love That Dares’ to the public at Afriart Gallery on Seventh Street, Industrial Area on March 7.
Each of the artists expresses themselves creatively, using different artistic styles and materials to deliver their interpretation and views on love. The exhibition was curated by Margaret Nagawa, a veteran artist and supervisor with a career that spans over two decades.

“The artists explore endurance of love in confrontation of various challenges in life,” Nagawa says. Ntensibe’s painting titled ‘The Rising sun’ is a philosophical composition.
It portrays a semblance of falling colours with sharp objects of different colour shades, bright ones that should represent hope, a new dawn, liberation and dark colours which signify love or life’s challenges in general.
“His art is metaphorical that can represent a range of issues from love, political and environmental problems and can be individual or national. It is really up to how you interpret it,” Nagawa observes.
“The rising sun shows a ray of light shining through what love or life is about. Despite the challenges, there is always hope,” Ntensibe, who has been painting and making sculptures since 1973, explains.

More than just art
Musoke uses woodcut prints to present wildlife as one of her favourite subjects in her three-decade practice. She uses animals to question the existence of life and its purpose. One of the paintings is of two heads of giraffes separated from the rest of their bodies.
“I question human existence and our purpose in life. Life is beautiful and we need to appreciate the environment in which we live. Painting is a journey. I create and use different materials and with each I open a new vision through which I express myself by sharing my stories and feelings,” she says.

Gateja spreads his creativity on backcloth designed in different forms, new and old, as a unique material, instead of canvas. His piece is titled ‘Paths’. “In his use of background, he grounds us in a history that dates back, even before colonial times when backcloth was used. We still use it today. In his art on backcloth, Gateja portrays how paths in life are interconnected. Without love, those paths can’t continue,” Nagawa explains about Gateja’s piece.
His other pieces are made out of beads made out of glossy magazine papers.
Then Nair’s Mississippi Masala, a film that explores migration and interracial love shows as part of the motion pictures.

The exhibitors
Afriart space on 7th Street Industrial Area is new art space and A Love That Dares was the inaugural exhibition. It focuses on the temerity of love as discussed by some of Uganda’s pivotal artists: Theresa Musoke, Mira Nair, Sanaa Gateja, Joseph Ntensibe, and Zuleika Kingdon.