Friday, June 11, 2010

I think it’s high time we talked about the Artist! And whilst I fully respect the art of the lyricists, poets, writers and emcees I think there needs to be some recognition of the classics, painters, jewelers and designers.

The past six months have been progressive for the art class. It started with a jewelry making workshop of which the jewelry was sent not only to the UK to sell and fund raise for the project but also with The Invisible Children Organization who as well bought a mass of supplies such as Batiks, Paintings, Handmade Bags and T-Shirt. As Art class progresses we find the younger children uses this class as a forum for expression. The classes include unique pieces that depict life, love and all forms of release and therapy as the mind is encouraged to wonder and creativity is given the forum to run free. Celebrating tradition, struggles, family and community.

So I wanted to take a minute to introduce and showcase the teachers and artists who spend the time and effort to open this forum of expression. First there is Zubi, a recent Industrial Art Graduate and phenomenal artist. Her work centers on female liberation and the appreciation of the spirit. Combined with her love for poetry she is an inspirational teacher. Equipping her class with the ability to look beyond the obvious and into the abstract. Her Batiks are unique and well crafted. And her spirit seems to enter every piece of art she creates.

Secondly there is De Street. A prolific art student at Makerere, De Street surrounds himself with the essence of Kampala street culture. Looking to what is real for inspiration his T-Shirt designs are both innovative and expressive, they encapsulate street life in a way that is both relate-able and hopeful. His paintings are soulful and elegant. They move with the traditions of Ugandan culture and celebrate the.

African Woman by bringing to light the importance of her cultural and social struggles.

Thirdly there is Brian. Brian’s eye for fashion is uniquely African. His attention to detail and polished finishing makes his clothes and designs like none other. His bags especially are well made, strong and bohemian. In a more classical sense Brian’s illustrative talents lay in larger scale work that is shown in the recent mural project. Alongside Zubi the mural is a perfect encapsulation of the unity and global community of Bavubuka. It has the spirit and strength of generations and brings together the universal struggles of the youth with an added sense of hope and upliftment.

Fourth there is Joyce who heads the Jewelry section; her designs are simple and elegant. They show a good knowledge of beadwork and are a good example of the creativity that can be expressed with the simplest of designs. Her work is well made and colorful pulling together different styles and making them her own.

Last but my no means least is Kasoozi. Kasoozi is an aspiring fashion designer. His work is stitched to perfection and every detail is intentional. Kasoozi is adapting his first line of clothes. His work is very interestingly designed and created to flatter the female form and each piece is well coordinated with African patterns and highlights. Currently he is working with other artists to design unique one off pieces, which are centered around his ability to embroider images onto cloth.

A little bit more about the Mural project: The mural project, which was spearheaded by Brian and Stacy, a volunteer from USIP/Word Beats and Life in DC, was aiming to bring the community together in sharing something inspirational, beautiful and permanent. The design and effort brought into this project by Brian and Zubi drew the entire Bavubuka Family together to appreciate their deep sense of community. Zubi, representing the women depicted an abstract Erykah Badu which draws together the strength and power in being a women within Bavubuka. On the other side Brian uses the power of the Lion inside Africa to draw on our strength’s as a united front for change. This mural represents the struggles and liberations of the past with the hope of the future.

The newest progression that has come from the Bavubuka art workshops is the start of a new T-Shirt printing company. Their first deal being done as part of ‘End of the Weak’ a freestyle competition that will see MC Cyno going to Berlin to represent Uganda. From here the company has moved forward by printing work for different Events, Groups and Companies such as the Jericho Break Dancers and Masaani.

As a collective the Bavubuka All Starz are able to home in on all of their individual artistic talents to create innovative and interesting designs. The community effort allows them to take paintings and design them into T-Shirts, Album Covers, Murals and fashion items. I, being from a world where art needs white walls and glasses of white wine find it refreshing to see art work in an organic atmosphere, with no superficial intentions but the intentions of simply self expression and storytelling. Keep up the great work!

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