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Wasswad Showcasing Immortal Objects at Circle Art gallery

Kampala, Uganda | DOMINIC MUWANGUZI | The exhibition showcases the artist’s recent body of work including new paintings, a series of drawings, alongside his more familiar sculptures

Like is the norm with the multi-disciplinary artist, Wasswa Donald aka Wasswad, to stage a Solo Show every after two to three years, he has yet again mounted a one Man’s Show this year. This is after a two years hiatus. The new exhibition Immortal Objects builds on the success of his previous two shows at Afriart gallery, Kampala.

The two shows To Live is To Become 2017 and Down in Napak 2020, commonly interrogated the relationship between humans and the environment they live in.

In particular, Down in Napak 2020; which clearly endorsed him as a highly respected artist in the area of presenting researched work; examined the subject of evolution and adaption within the context of the immediate surroundings.

As such the different artworks on showcase discussed how humans through latest science and technology innovations impact the environment they inhabit.

Immortal Objects equally charts this path; stimulating conversations on the relationship between humans and the environment they occupy both in the present and imagined future. Wasswad forte to contextualize his works into both worlds- present and future- contributes to an element of uniqueness, mystery and suspense in his art.

He constructs or deconstructs objects which will immediately suggest the present and future within one space. The objects also possess the identity of terrestrial creatures which arrest the viewer’s gaze. Yet the artist is very intentional to work with materials inform of natural or found objects which subtly communicate the past.

A recurrent media in his works is hardwood harvested from trees planted decades ago. This media according to the artist becomes a carrier of memories and places.

In the present exhibition, the artist continues to reinforce such experimental processes in his work. The display of new paintings, a series of drawings alongside his familiar sculptures, attests to this technique. Wasswad’s consistence to exhibit multi disciplinary art in each exhibition underscores his belief that the process of making art is an experimental undertaking which cannot be limited to one art genre.

In this, the artist works with a multiplicity of ideas which need different approaches to be effectively explored, interrogated and communicated. On one hand, the ability to “ multi task” in the studio inadvertently gives the artist a sort of clarity for his ideas, and on the other hand, the objective of the artist to stimulate divergent conversation for his art is at once realized.

The venue of the exhibition at Circle Art gallery, Nairobi serves as a rejoinder to one of the artist’s objectives of reaching different audiences with his art. As matter of fact, the artist does not perceive himself as an artist belonging to one community, but embraces the identity of a global citizen who can traverse different social cultural boundaries with his artistic exploits.

As such, the venue affords Wasswad the opportunity to assert this multi national identity as well as communicate effectively to a much diverse audience. Nairobi is a melting pot for social cultural diversity with different ethnic groups inhabiting the city.

Wasswad’s third solo exhibition in recent years, cements his studio experimental processes and innovation. It also firmly stamps his foot on the regional art scene as an artist of extraordinary quality. His singular three dimensional artworks are provocative, suggestive and engaging.

They touch the inner soul of the viewer asking them to reflect on the now and then in a more responsible way which can better the world we live in.

The exhibition opened on 14th June and will close on 8th July 2023 at Circle Art gallery. Circle Art gallery is located in Victoria Square, along Riara Road, Lavington Nairobi. Image courtesy of Circle Art gallery