I have been engrossed in not so glamorous work these past weeks at AfriArt Gallery. This work concerns my upcoming exhibition that opens on 18th September 2021. Storytelling takes new forms and ways here as I reengage my fascination with basketry, weaving and woven crafts. Borrowing from Beverley Nambozo Nsengiyunva ‘s ‘ ‘possership’ posts about #OwningYourShine , allow me to reintroduce myself.
I am a burgeoning fellow of the Emerging Curators Program that was initiated by UgandaArtsTrust and 32Degrees in collaboration with Newcastle University and Makere University School of Art. As it draws to an end, I am showcasing at AfriArt Gallery.
Iwang Sawa is an Alur phrasing. Iwang Sawa is an original exhibition, derived from Mikeka (handwoven mats from palm leaf material ) and Biibo ( hand woven and twinned baskets from banana fibre, raffia and flexible tree hide/ bark).
My way of doing involved commissioning weaving artisans to make woven crafts which, I repurposed into non-functional pieces for the gaze of the contemporary seer. These ten pieces are drawn from the woven work of at least 30 women from Gulu, Kigorobya, Kyotera, Luwero, Mukono, Kabarole and Kampala. I am constantly drawn to the histories and philosophies that underpin the making of art and craft by women.
This Fellowship and exhibition is a result of the Open Call for Emerging Ugandan curators via Uganda Arts Trust/32 Degrees East and Newcastle University to which I applied and got accepted. Iwang Sawa opens at AfriArt gallery starting on the 18th September 2021. Daudi Karungi is my primary mentor through this process. From him, I have learnt much. I am learning many profoundly good things about how to make creativity tangible. Thank you.
Iwang Sawa is also a four-part limited podcast and documentary series which follows the journey of ten sets of remade, woven products from the wetlands where the materials habitats to the gallery.