8 February – 06 March 2016
The Palms, 145 Sir Lowry Road in Woodstock, Cape Town
Monday to Thursday: 11h00 – 18h00
Friday & Saturday: 10h00 – 18h30
Sundays: 10h00 – 17h00
PRESENTING: ERIA ‘SANE’ NSUBUGA / HENRY MZILI MUJUNGA / SANAA GATEJA / XENSON
THAT ART FAIR is a vibrant multi-platform art fair event presenting ‘Fresh Art From Africa’. Hosted over a period of two and a half weeks, THAT ART FAIR presents the opportunity for artists, collectors, gallerists, curators, creatives and media to network. THAT ART FAIR believes that creating a young and invested collector base and encouraging new and supportive audiences is essential to sustaining a vibrant and unique African creative economy.
Afriart is delighted to participate in the second edition of THAT ART FAIR with four of Uganda’s promising and creative artists, Eria Sane Nsubuga, Henry Mzili Mujunga, Sanaa Gateja and Xenson.
Eria Solomon Nsubuga also known as ‘SANE’, is a contemporary Ugandan painter, illustrator, sculptor and art lecturer. An active practicing artist since 1999, Eria has had several successful solo and group shows in Kampala, Nairobi, Dar-es-Salaam and beyond. His work is enjoyed on virtually all continents of the world. He is a social artist choosing to study the climate of politics, allocation of resources, morality and spirituality. Some writers and scholars refer to him as a political artist.
Eria ‘Sane’, unlike most pro African actors, does not see Christianity as a colonial tool and as such sees no contradiction between his personal faith and art practice. If anything, faith has been a key driver in SANE’s artistic journey since 1999. Instead he focuses his attention in the course of his work to adding an African flavour to Christianity. Sane uses political and Christian imagery in his practice to show his faith and depict its relevance to African living. He also seeks to Africanise more of the Christian iconography that has been unfairly apportioned a Eurocentric mode while Black characters remain depicted as evil or wretched in Art history. While critical of European racism, Sane is also a firm critic of Africa’s failure to take care of her internal problems like fairly distributing her wealth to its people and sees African politics today as the most toxic problem standing in way of the continent’s social and economic advancement. He sees a contradiction in his society in Uganda of having high endemic corruption and yet many leaders claim to be religious. Morality for instance can hardly be separated in his view from politics or resource allocation.
SANE recently participated in the Cape Town Art Fair (2015), the Florence Biennale (2011), KLA ART 2012 (Kampala Contemporary Art Festival), the East African Art Auction (2013), Kampala Contemporary Art Biennale (2014), the East African Art Auction (2014), among many others.
Mzili interrogating The Good Life
In his latest series Henry ‘Mzili’ Mujunga wants to re-live the good moments in life. Moments he enjoys or those in which he thinks others are having a good time. In his work, Mzili reinterprets the duality of a moment; where some people see melancholy, he sees tranquillity (the good life can sometimes be celebrated using socially unacceptable behaviour like intoxication and flirtations).
The good life is about people; when you have a good relationship with them it is worth celebrating. “What is it for a man to be happy, or for an object to be good? Everyone may think he knows. But to frame an abstract idea of happiness, rescinded from all particular pleasure, or of goodness from everything that is good, this is what few can pretend to.” – Berkeley.
His works are real life moments captured and preserved on canvas using a mixture of experimental media and techniques. He does not use traditional application tools like brushes as he prefers to create new finishes using a process of dubbing. The works appear elongated in shape, as he tries to stretch the pleasurable moments in time.
Mzili is a graduate of Margaret School of fine art, Makerere University and a winner of the Royal Overseas League (ROSL) Art Scholarship 2003 and has exhibited in galleries in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania,
Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Ghana, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and the Netherlands.
Sanaa Gateja was introduced to the Mijikenda group of people that live along the coast of Kenya and Tanzania while working in there in the 70s. Their culture of making effigies inspired him for his latest series of work called “Revolutionary”. The purpose of the effigy is to arrest the spirit and send it to the ancestor where it will have peace forever and leave the living alone with a wooden statue in memory of the deceased but more so a presence. Sanaa’s interest came about by listening to the stories about Mekitili a Kenyan woman leader, who led the Giriama people in a rebellion against the British Colonial Administration and policies actively in 1913 – 1914.
Sanaa’s effigies embody the spirit of Mekitili who inspired him but also represents the female revolutionaries the African continent has seen. They remind us of our history as Africans, they are the untold truths of our yet to be told version of our history told by us from ancient Egypt, The Congo, Zimbabwe, Sudan, South Africa, Somalia to some of the biggest Slave markets Zanzibar and Morocco and so on.
Sanaa Gateja is an exceptional artist and jeweller and has been nicknamed ‘The Bead King’ in his native Uganda. He derives this name from being the inventor of beads made from recycled paper which he uses to create pieces of various designs and composition. As an artist his work ethic and preference for recycled materials suite the global consciousness of present times which highly regard the environment and its preservation. Quite ironical given he started out as an artist in the 60s!
Sanaa’s artwork could be described as mixed-media experimental abstract art. His pieces emphasize use of beads, bark cloth and sometimes raffia to depict different scenes that he has encountered.
He says, “Life is a journey with a purpose. The message I bring is visually African. The themes I paint are universally human. Dealing with the materials that guide me, I talk with you, the observer. We share the energy within us provoked by Art”.
Gateja is indeed one of Uganda’s most universally acclaimed artists. Sanaa holds a wealth of experience and has several influences to his work having studied both in the UK (London college of Art and Design) and in Europe’s culture capital: Florence, at the Universita Internazonale dell Arte.
Currently the only Ugandan exhibiting at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) in New York, Sanaa is very active and has exhibited extensively since 1980 in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, UK, USA and Germany among other countries.
Samson Ssenkaaba aka Xenson graduated in 1999 from the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University majoring in graphic design and painting. Since then, his works have been shown in numerous exhibitions and fashion shows in Uganda and abroad.
He is a multitalented artists at the vanguard of a youthful African Art renaissance that refuses to be pigeonholed into a singular artistic expression.
A solitary dreamer greatly influenced by the grandeur of African cultures, vitality of African dance and performance, and hip-hop as a free expressive art form, Xenson traded his engineering studies to join art school. Since then, intermittent appearances of his art works, films and fashions have been shown in numerous exhibitions and shows in Uganda and abroad. His latest visual works titled “Pro-Afro” Series celebrate his African heritage, lifestyle and culture. He uses bright colours, textures and traditional patterns that symbolise power and strength.
He is a well collected Artist in Germany, Scotland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Brazil, Argentina, France, USA, Canada, Niger, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda where he has held successful Exhibitions and Fashion shows.
Please visit afriartgallery for further information or visit our stand at the Fair.
Contact: Daudi Karungi, firstname.lastname@example.org , +256 (0) 712 455 555, Afriart Gallery, Kampala