| An Exhibition of two Prominent Ugandan Artists |

Professor Dr Pilkington Ssengendo 1942 - 2015
Geoffrey Mukasa, 1954 - 2009
Geoffrey Mukasa | Teatime | Collage on Paper | 88 x 65cm
Pilkington Ssengendo (1942 – 2015)
Pilkington Ssengendo was born in 1942 in Kampala. He studied in the early 1960’s visual art and sculpture at Makerere University and obtained a Diploma, Masters and PHD Degree in Fine Art. He started lecturing at the University in 1983 and was from 1992 to 2003 the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Art at the Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda. He was the initiator of the PHD programmes in Industrial and Fine Art at Makerere University

In the 1960’s, Elimo Njau, a Tanzanian artist and Lecturer in Fine Art at the Makerere University became an important Mentor to Ssengendo’s views on art.

‘In Elimo Njau, Ssengendo met a mentor who guided him on a journey of artistic self-discovery’ Prof. Kyeune – a former student of Professor Ssengendo and later a Lecturer at the University
Professor Ssengendo remained reserved to the teaching syllabus of the former (British) Deans of the University, who were, in his view, “neglecting African values and culture for the sake of European Modernity”.

‘Ssengendo became the young voice of dissent in a largely conformist academic environment’ Prof. Kyeune
In his work Professor Ssengendo portrays his people, his culture and his African environment in a unique style that freely explores colour, perspective, intricate lines and cubist patterns, including natural materials, jute, bark cloth and beads. He tells the story of a rich and vibrant culture.
Ssengendo created a body of visual artworks which critically assess and re-evaluate the aesthetic value and meaning inherent in the East African traditional cultures - modernist art of cultural identity.

“He is one of the unsung heroes of Uganda. When Uganda was in turmoil, most sane people left the country but he was one of the few people who stayed behind to let the candle continue to burn, -Prof. Mondo Kagonyera, outgoing Makerere University Chancellor at the funeral of Professor Ssengendo in 2015
Elimo Njau (90 years) and his wife Philda Njau are the owners and Directors of Paa Ya Paa Art Centre, just outside Nairobi.

Geoffrey Mukasa (1954 – 2009)
Geoffrey Mukasa was born in 1954 in Kampala. He was a descendent of one of Uganda’s most prominent and historic political figures, Sir Apollo Kaggwa (1864-1927), who was appointed Prime Minister of Buganda from 1890 to 1926. Geoffrey spent part of his childhood in the privileged environment of the palace of the Buganda Kingdom.

He studied Fine Art at the University of Lucknow in India from 1978 to 1980 and graduated with a Bachelor of Art.
The influence of MF Hussain – one of the most celebrated Indian artists of the 20th century, executing bold, vibrantly coloured narrative paintings in a modified cubist style – can be seen both in Mukasa’s subject matter and his technique.

When he came back to Uganda in 1981, he worked as a graphic designer with the Ministry of Information and Uganda Television. During this time he continued to develop his talent for drawing and painting. He worked together with artist friends – the late Romano Lutwama, Fabian Mpagi and Eli Kyeyune – who were some of Ugandan master painters in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

For over 20 years he was a full-time artist and found his own identity in his artworks. He was well known in Uganda and abroad. Geoffrey Mukasa passed on in 2009 at the age of 55.

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