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Makerere Campus Girls in view of Womanhood and HIV/AIDS

August 9, 2017

Sculptures Exhibition by:
Dr Lilian Mary Nabulime – 2017 Opening: 7th September at 5pm

Young women have higher opportunities to join the university and if well mentored do develop an idealized conception of becoming a successful women in the future. Obtaining a University degree highly sets them a foundation to success in life.  Many African women grow up in cultures where marriage and motherhood are emphasized as the primary goals in life. Thus it is important to have role models or female mentors who embody academic achievement. Dr. J. K. Aggrey, mentioned that, “if you educate a man you educate an individual, but ifyou educate a woman you educate a nation.”  Thus Luke (2001) claims that: to deny women the structural and ideological support they need to obtain full support and equal access, participation, and share of the rewards in the professions of their choice is to deny and impoverish society as a whole. The Task Force on Higher Education and Society (2000) reveals that disadvantaged groups, whether they are racial,linguistic, or religious groups in specific societies, or women almost everywhere, find it difficult to compete in higher education. They usually receive inadequate primary and secondary schooling making thus further progress in the educational system much harder to achieve.

My idea to develop the sculpture was motivated by Dr. J. K. Aggrey’s quotation. Since Makerere University campus is one the highest institute of learning in Uganda, I wondered what thoughts the girls have regarding encounters and privileges they have at the University. I usually observe some of the girls as I teach and mentor them. A few of them pass by office and we have a chat which ranges on various issues namely academics, social, religion, challenges and accomplishment. This steered me to assess their views on Womanhood and develop sculptures that reflected their beliefs,

Sculptures on Display

My earlier exhibition in 2015-16 was titled “Art in Open Office” held at KfW Office Kampala. The concept was to develop work for the “office”. In this exhibition am returning to my passion for found objects in wood and other materials like the nuts and aluminum cans. The wood was not over worked as I allow it to retain roughness and its natural forms and color. I usually beautify the sculpture with colour, burn the wood, strengthen/decorate it with metal sheets of aluminum or copper. The additions and reductions exposes/highlights hidden forms and usually the human forms have lips that are colored with bright red that draws the viewers.

This exhibition’s concept explores selected celebrated thoughts on woman hood and HIV/AIDS as the most affected are the youth and women (UNAIDS 2017). The techniques used in this exhibition differ. The girls have neither been adorned with bright coloured lips nor the forms of the sculptures enhanced with colours. The sculptures have been left with their natural colours with the aim to reflect the thoughts of the campus girls.

The sculptures are in 6 series: Fifteen miniature fired clay portraits with in 6.5×3.5×3 inches tilted “Expressionism”. The second group consists of fifteen found wood sculptures with in 60x30x30cm, titled, “Uniqueness of campus girls”. The third group has ten flat reliefs of 8x8inches, titled “Dreams and consequences” the fourth group are ten wood relief with nailed aluminum cans and metal nuts of 2x1xfeetx1inch, titled “Campus girls life styles”.  The fifth group is big sculptures ranging from 1meter high titled “Reflections”. The last series is a conceptual sculpture of mixed media titled, “Wildness”. The sculpture will reflect on the freedom the campus girls have and yet if misused lead to un desired consequences.


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