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Obvious Things – not so obvious.

November 18, 2015

By Martha Kazungu

Currently showing at Makerere Art Gallery is a unique exhibition entitled Obvious Things by Ndema and Mukiza.

Installation shot.

Installation shot.

Ndema’s large and brightly coloured work creates a deep contrast with Mukiza’s paintings, which might seem incomplete on the white canvases.

In his bold oils on canvas, Ndema seeks to question and investigate Christianity. One of the things he is puzzled by is why God would let children become soldiers and yet Jesus said: ”Let little the children come to me!“ This was why he came up with the painting of a child carrying an AK 47.

Ndema, God Is Dead, 2015

Ndema, God Is Dead, 2015

Ndema has also painted himself in daring poses to illustrate his vulnerability as a character in the subject he is investigating. The halos on all his paintings signify that everyone is holy. Ndema says that he is a Christian but an “intelligent” one. That is the reason why he questions some of the things the Bible says. “The Bible was not meant to be a book of facts”, says Ndema.

Ndema advises everyone to be good for goodness’ sake and not because they are scared of going to hell.

Ndema, ,2015

Ndema, Chippendale, 2015

Mukiza on the other hand is interested in telling what are unfinished stories. He explains that they neither have a beginning nor an end and it is the viewer who is invited to reflect and ask the questions to which the answers are apparent.

Mukiza, Untitled, 2015

Mukiza, Untitled, 2015

The white backgrounds in Mukiza’s paintings reflect a whitewashed world and the figures painted in very strong dark colors because those are the people he wants to communicate to. One of the messages that Mukiza intends to send is the fact that black people should know themselves and be proud of who they are.

“I have placed my opinions, my stories on display, read them and think on them!”, he says

Mukiza, Untitled, 2015

Mukiza, Untitled, 2015

It might to be difficult at first to see the obvious in the Obvious Things exhibition, however we invite everyone to come and have a look at Mukiza and Ndema’s creations and try to reflect on questions posed by the artists.

The exhibition will be open until December 5th, 2015.


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