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Collage Broadly Defined

This is an exhibition curated by Sarah Bushrah and as the title suggests most of the pieces shown are collages, they involve a layering of sorts, of materials or of images or of ideas or of all these things put together, and I can say the curator succeeded at achieving the task of defining the collage, first starting with the work of Gael Maski a Kinsasha based artist who uses collage as a technique quite often, for his work in this exhibition he used photography and he then used photo prints to create his pieces, to me the work that stood out the most from his contribution to the exhibition was “touch” this piece melds images in a collage first, then it joins ideas and perspectives to form an expression that questions reality, if my last line seemed vague let me use the excerpts I got from conversing with Maski, “in Touch, the boy reaches out to his ideal self and for him to continue living in a hostile environment he has to dream so that his dream covers his reality, and in turn his dream comes “true” this work is layered on both the physical and conceptual, Maski also explores the concept of the human being as a collage in his works if you look closely at “touch” the “ideal” boy is made of notes from a history class, his other works feature the same motif, characters juxtaposed with symbols that are both in unity and comparison at the same time, but to me “touch” best represented this, a rich tapestry of symbol, story and light.

Ocom Adonias tells the story of “Saints” in his works which he creates by recycling old newspapers and drawing on them with charcoal, the pieces depict characters in their everyday life working to provide for themselves and those they care for, and to Adonias these are the saints that should be revered because each day they sacrifice themselves to serve others. For Adonias he achieves this through material and symbol, for material he works in recycled newspapers and he makes them look good, but emphasis is on the “Saints” the symbolic halo is the marker for the saint in the religious icons, and Adonias felt that particular characters around him deserved this consecration too, so he borrowed for religion and merged this concept into his immaculate drawings.

I had planned to go back to interface more with Canon Griffin, Letaru Dralega, Eria Nsubuga and Maliza Kiasuwa’s work but Covid 19 is getting in the way of that, I hope when this is overcome this amazing exhibition will still be showing.

PS: I never got the chance to go back I missed out on seeing work from the artists I hoped I’d see.

What do you think?

Written by Mukholi Trevor

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