Eria ‘Sane’ Nsubuga is a Ugandan artist and lecturer. He graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a Masters in Fine Art (Sculpture) from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts. Since 2002 he has had several solo exhibitions in Kampala as well as participated in numerous local and international group shows, biennales and exhibitions. Among other places his work has been on display at the Milan Triennale, the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Rahuset Exhibition Hall in Copenhagen, the Art Museum in Shanghai, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
Sane seeks to speak to the inner self of the viewer. He tries to make his paintings mirrors into the viewers’ consciences. He waddles though what seems to him like the social and political quagmire of his time like the aloof, taciturn observer, unaffected by all around him. Unsurprisingly, some pundits have likened his persona to that of Eria’s graceful but nonchalant and visually distant ‘alter ego’, the Giraffe. None the less, he is strongly aware of the pariah status in which people of his trade find themselves, and willingly, sometimes mischievously delves into social and political criticism. But he is ultimately a lover of nature, and people and looks to a world to come, a spiritually enlightened world. He believes that whatever we do here in the physical realm has a spiritual bearing on our future wellbeing in the world to come.
“My quest to find visual truth, energy, and meaning has led me into all sorts of worlds from the political to the metaphysical. And still, it eludes me; the satisfaction that one feels when they know that their work here on earth has earned them a place in this world and the next. And the place in the next world, I have found cannot be found just by doing any work on earth, the work must have spiritual value.”
Sane is currently pursuing a PhD at University of Southampton in UK. He has been lecturing at the Department of Art and Design at the Ugandan Christian University in Mukono, and practices painting, illustration and sculpture. Since the beginning of his career in 1999, he has constantly been challenging himself and his art by experimenting with techniques. Often he has been confronting viewers with new and difficult subjects such as human rights, social privileges and responsibilities, and most recently political affairs. Coming from a background in sculpture, he works within a variety of media. From drawings, paintings and illustrations to sculpture and installation he always tries to relate his art to viewers by using or depicting familiar objects and symbols as well as experimenting with local materials. His work contains multiple layers of meaning that often comes ahead of aesthetic considerations, and, as he admitted recently, he has had to learn to enjoy his own work without waiting for other people to like it.
2017 – AKAA Paris Art Fair 2017
2017- Creases and Tears, Afriart Gallery, Uganda
2016 – Mukaabya’s Legacies – Afriart Gallery, Uganda
2016 – FNB Joburg Art Fair – Johannesburg, South Africa
2016 – Kampala Contemporary – Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
2016 – That Art Fair – Capetown, South Africa
2015 – Black Face, White Masks – Afriart Gallery, Uganda
2013 – Abanene – Afriart Gallery, Uganda
2012 – The Colours of the Rainbow – Afriart Gallery, Uganda
Painting a Story of My Time: Interview with Eria ‘Sane’ Nsubuga – By Anna Kućma in Addis Rumble, Nov 2013.
Eria Sane Nsubuga: Political Artist, by Dominic Muwanguzi, Art Africa, Dec 2015.