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Art With No Rules
IF art were warfare, Benedict Bukenya would be a freedom
fighter. If it were a love affair, he would be a philanderer. But art
being art, Bukenya is just an ordinary artist with extraordinary style.
Like a freedom fighter rebelling against an oppressive
regime, Bukenya breaks away from conventional rules of art, to create
his own style.
Like a philanderer who flirts with different lovers,
he experiments with nearly every material available to him. From paper
to pieces of fabric...Bukenya's world is a world where freedom means doing
what one wants to do in the way one wants to do it.
A world where it is alright to break rules and walk away
"I believe in freedom of expression, so my art is
not restricted to specific rules. I also experiment with everything around
me to add variety to my work," says the 26-year-old freelance sculptor,
designer and multimedia artist.
It is this liberal, almost tenacious attitude that Bukenya
has brought to the Alliance Francaise artist of the month exhibition,
which is on until November 7, at Alliance Francaise showroom.
The soft-spoken artist has capitalised on exposure to
numerous art exhibitions and workshops in Uganda, Kenya, Egypt and Namibia,
to produce a number of attractive images.
Bukenya uses materials like wood and metal for sculptures
and acrylics, oils and bitmap on mixed surfaces such as canvas, paper
and fabrics to put his message across.
The idea of style is not his concern, but the material
he uses and the message he puts across is what matters most to him and
Through his highly expressive images, Bukenya deems it
necessary to open up to the challenges in an environment that demands
intense artistic experimentation, co-operation and exchange.
His use of contrast lies not so much in his guarded use
of colour but more in his ability to display different images on the same
Unlike your usual artist, Bukenya uses a mixture of sculpture
and multimedia paintings, a feature that gives him an edge over artists
who tend to specialise in only one form of art.
"The subjects, feelings and grandeur of Uganda,
the pearl of Africa, the rural people and their environment the tenderness,
durability, green waters and game, are all great sources of inspiration
to express delight, compassion, affection, disgust or grief," says
As both a painter and sculptor, Bukenya comes across
as a flexible and multi-faceted character.
Using casting technique Bukenya uses imagery and symbolism
to explore life in the wild.
His paintings are characterised by the unmistakable presence
of thick lines and muted browns, blacks, blues and reds to bring out the
warmth and the subtle nature of his images.
Using is a blend of abstraction and distortion, Bukenya
shows different aspects of human nature. Despite this, his predominant
use of dark colours gives a haze of dullness to some of his images. This
however, has done very little, if anything to detract from the power of
his communicative art.
Bukenya works as a volunteer at Ngoma International Artists
workshop in Bukoto.
Full Credit For This Story Goes To: All Africa