art that touches the heart
Nuwa Wamala -Nnyanzi a celebrated,
self-taught, Ugandan artist of international repute was born on
October 28th 1952 in Uganda, "The Land of friendly people, "The
Heartbeat of Africa" also "The Source Of The River Nile and fondly
referred to as the "The Pearl of Africa"
His late father was a laboratory assistant and his mother is a retired
midwife and nurse. Nnyanzi is married with two children. He attributes his
talent and success to the Grace of God.
Nnyanzi's works of art are in batik, pastel, acrylic, oil and water colors
which are earthy, vibrant and reflective of the strong and sweet African
sun. The lines of his works flow and turn with the fluency of an African
drum. Looking at his art, one feels the vibrant life in an African setting.
Nnyanzi started painting in
1978 while in exile in Nairobi, Kenya. He has held many exhibits and slide\talk
presentations in Africa, Europe, North America, Japan and Australia. In 1996
he had the privilege and honor of hosting among many other dignitaries, the
late Ron Brown, who was Secretary of Commerce of United States of America, at his studio
/ gallery in Kampala, Uganda.
Although Nnyanzi works in many other media, he specializes in batik
Nnyanzi through extensive
research and experimentation has managed to come up with a style where more
than one dye can be applied to get tones and varied shades.
The result of which is
remarkable. After all the required dyes have been applied, the wax is
removed by placing the batik between two absorbent pieces of paper and
pressed with a very hot flat iron. The wax melts with the heat and is
absorbed into the sheets of paper, leaving the batik crisp clean. The rugged
ages of the images are retouched using black dye in a fountain pen.
Nnyanzi's works of art are executed in multi and mono hues. He
intelligently and successfully manipulates the colors and shapes with such
ease that leaves the viewer spell-bound.
A talented and articulate orator, Nnyanzi's art too, eloquently and emotionally, convincingly addresses the
Nnyanzi's choice of titles for his pieces too, is a work of art in itself. The titles
are as descriptive and reflective as they are poetic, which makes them an
integral part of the art itself. Nnyanzi's concern for humanity and cultural
values manifests itself vividly in his art, which successfully captures and
depicts the emotions and movements of human beings.
In his black and white
serigraphs, using sensuous and flowing lines, Nnyanzi captures traditional
African dancers and musicians in action so successfully that the rhythm is
actually felt by the viewer. The black and white
pieces, produced on pure cotton fabric can be aptly described as
artistically eloquent and graphically articulate. Some of Nnyanzi's batik
paintings have been published in open and limited edition lithographs.
Nnyanzi's evocative and often moving art strikes a responsive cord. That,
and his wide knowledge of Ganda culture and traditions plus his natural and
eloquent articulation of cultural and social issues enable his audience to
enjoy while being educated during his presentations.
Art combined with Royalty
His knowledge of Ganda culture and traditions and also of the
neighboring people has its roots in the close association his family has had
with the royal courts of Buganda, Bunyoro and Tooro for a number of generations.
Nnyanzi, himself is a descendant of Baganda chiefs, among whom was his great
grandfather Paulo Nsubuga Bakunga, who participated in the making of the
1900 agreement, which laid the foundation for the creation of the modern-day
Uganda. His paternal grandfather, Kesi Mukasa Bagandanswa was among the
first Ugandans to visit the United Kingdom as a reward for his swift grasp
of the English language at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Nuwa Wamala-Nnyanzi a minister of Internal Affairs in the Buganda Kingdom
since 1992 was responsible for the successful protocol and security
co-ordination during the coronation of Ssabasajja Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II,
as the 36th Kabaka King of Buganda Kingdom in July, 1993.
Nnyanzi now a Minister of Arts
and Social Welfare was chairman of the security committee of one of the
world's most colourful weddings, billed to be "The
Wedding of the Millennium".
In addition to many art exhibits he has held around the globe Nnyanzi has also
made several slide/talk presentations on the Baganda, Banyoro and the
neighboring peoples at Universities, Colleges, Seminars and workshops.
Among the Universities and
Colleges where he has made presentations are: Makerere
University, School of
Industrial and Fine Art, St Lawrence University NY, Kenya program, Marist
College, New York. Other venues, among others have been Uganda
Uganda National Cultural Center to mention but a few.
Nnyanzi's art has inspired many scholars who have used it as a subject of
reference when writing their theses and art books. Many art students have
also carried out their industrial training and internship at his studio - Nnyanzi
Between 1994 and 1996 he hosted students of anthropology from St Lawrence
University, New York on the Kenya program.
Nnyanzi at his studio/gallery
Nnyanzi has also appeared as guest speaker at fundraising functions and he
has on several occasions donated his art in support of charity. Nnyanzi's
batik painting "Homage to the first born" features in the UNICEF
greeting card collection. Another of his works, a 1987 batik painting
"Desperately longing for shelter" was selected to be used in
minting a medallion by the United Nations High Commission for Human Settlement
[HABITAT] to be presented to distinguished world leaders.
"Homage to the first born" A
UNICEF Greeting card
"Desperately Longing for Shelter"
In 1993, during the Pope's visit to Uganda, Nnyanzi's design, "The
Pentecost" was used in executing a wood sculpture, which was presented
to Pope John Paul II.
1995, yet again Nnyanzi was commissioned by the
University of Transkei [UNITRA]
in South Africa to paint a mural (depicting Xhosa life-style) in their administration
American Red Cross in 1993 used Nnyanzi's design the "Dialogue" on
the cover of the book they published on AIDS.
Coca-Cola International in 1997 commissioned Nnyanzi to make an eight foot
Coca Cola bottle portraying Uganda's rich cultural heritage.
is part of the Atlanta based Coca Cola International.
In 1998,the head of the Roman Catholic Church, who is also the chairman of
the Ecumenical Movement in Uganda, commissioned Nnyanzi to produce portraits and
a collage which were presented to the Archbishop of Canterbury
when he visited Uganda. Nnyanzi has chaired many art judging panels as well
as beauty pageants. Among those is the National poster contest under the
auspices of the United Nations fund for Population Activities [UNFPA].
Nuwa Wamala-Nnyanzi and, his art have been widely covered by both local and
international media among them are: British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC],
REUTERS TV, The Christian Science Monitor, The South African Broadcasting
Corporation [SABC], The Cable News Network [CNN].
MINISTER: Arts and Social Welfare,
CHAIRMAN: Uganda Artists' Association
DIRECTOR: Uganda National Arts and Crafts Village
PRESIDENT-ELECT: Rotary Club of Kampala West
CHAIRMAN: Kampala Central Branch,
Uganda Red Cross
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