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Showing posts from 2009

WAPI ART FESTIVAL

My stand at WAPI art festival.


The stage is set for performances

Again this year the British Council organised the Wapi art festival and many artists both visual and performing came in large numbers to exhibit their talent-filled works. Performances by upcoming poets and musicians graced the occasion. Visual artists including oil painters, batik artists, graphics designers and portrait artists were there. I was attending this event for the first time and i was impressed with the way it was organised. Many people came to my stand to ask how i do my work and they were thrilled by the finished work i put on display. I had reproduced a few of my paintings on greeting cards and these turned out to be popular as they are affordable ($1 each).
The good thing about these events is that artists come together and share about what they face as well as getting contacts from potential clients.

IN THIS PAINTING I WAS FREEING MYSELF FROM BLACK AND WHITE

This is my latest project titled SHARING KNOWLEDGE (2009) on cotton 33x22 inches in size. I was researching about using my patterns or motifs against a color background. This is the fifth project on the same subject above and it's new ground that i had long feared to break because of the risk of producing a dull picture. I used light colors except the middle background, to be able to bring out the black patterns. I wanted to show a discussion that could take place between mothers, which could range from child feeding, contraception, cheating husbands etc. This painting is rich with my original handmade motifs/patterns that have taken me 7 years to perfect. It is on sale now and i'll be showing it this Friday at our weekly artists fare at the railway yard near Mukwano industries in Kampala.

For iformation about this and many other paintings by me please feel free to email me at ldominic2008@gmail.com or call +256 772357756.

WEEKLY ARTIST SHOW AT RAILWAY YARD NEAR MUKWANO INDUSTRIES

This is an initiative that has been going on for 3 years whereby artists from all over Uganda congregate and display their work. They range from basketry, jewelery, batik, drum makers, wood carvers and many others. This takes place every Friday of the week, so if you want to talk to artists and perhaps buy directly from them, this is the place to be every Friday. I also have a stall there displaying all my latest paintings and i offer a free interesting explanation of how i do my work as well as talking to you about my inspirations. The photo below shows part of my stall.


THIS IS THE BIGGEST PAINTING IN ALL MY COLLECTION (sold)

THE FLOW OF IDEAS IN THE BATIK PROCESS

I have realised that painting in the batik medium is a very interesting process in which almost everything is possible. Right from the idea popping up into the brain of an artist up to the finished batik, many unexpected things happen. I am one of the artists who hate sticking to the original sketch. Once i begin the transfer of the sketch to the fabric, i start editing the sketch, making changes here and there. The final product becomes something related to the sketch in subject matter but not similar to it.
However during the application of colours, i have to stick to my original colour scheme, even though a relentless urge keeps dragging me to the direction of changing my original colour plan. I have realised that this is something i have to deal with in the studio especially if it concerns an order with strict subjects and colour schemes.
The room to adjust at a short notice makes the batik process a favourite medium to both artists and to people who enjoy exploration.

SHOPPING BATIK ART MATERIALS AND TOOLS IN DOWNTOWN KAMPALA

One of the major problems of artists in general here is that of finding the right materials and tools. For the batik artists, you have to rely on fellow artists for a good deal and product, except for the cotton fabric which is readily available in textile shops around town.

When it comes to dyes and wax, it's a real nightmare looking for these in downtown Kampala. It all comes down to one word, 'genuine'. It becomes tricky because it's hard to tell a fake DYLON dye from a genuine one as they all look similar. So when you buy, you have to take them home and test them before use. I once looked for a Dark blue dye for 2 months without getting the right one. It's the same case with yellows. There is a place near the old taxi park where printing materials are sold. In this place, one has to ask around the many shops for a particular dye in vain. I was eventually directed to a good dealer who sells dyes at a higher price but the dyes are genuine. I don't compromise …

INSPIRATIONS

I get inspired by places with many people moving about. My favorite is to stand outside a building surrounding the Old taxi park in Kampala. Here one gets a glimpse of the bee-hive activity of people entering the taxi park and those moving out of it, not to mention the young women food vendors moving up and down. There's steps going down into the park on different corners of the place and on these, you see people bypassing each other with a few beggars on top and in the middle of the stairs, hands hanging out. On the far distance, you see taxis snaking their way into the park from different directions of the city. In the mix is the many kiosks on every corner of the park. With the noise from taxi touts calling names of taxi stages and occasional honking from taxis moving in and out of the place, this place makes my day as an artist.