“Nature, music and any surrounding are my sources of inspiration. For the recent projects I choose to use wildlife to communicate messages and develop my artistic language ELEPHANISH, in which I use symbolism to address social, economic and political issues. I wish to take the audience on a journey through my dreamscapes questioning, answering and debating about sensitive aspects of life. I seek to represent life from different angles using humans and manmade objects in order to highlight the contrasts of nature.”
Waswad will exhibit at the Railway Station (near the Visionary Africa Art at Work-pavillion), Kampala Rd, Nakasero.
(NOT at the Independence Monument as earlier stated).
Wasswa Donald aka Waswad is a painter, sculptor and mixed media artist. He graduated from Kyambogo University in 2006 with a Bachelors degree in Art and Design. His works have been widely exhibited in Kampala including Nommo Gallery, Goethe-Zentrum, AKA Gallery, Serena Hotel and AfriArt Gallery. He participated in the LaBa! Street Art Festival (2012) and held solo exhibitions at Alliance Française (2009), Emin Pasha Hotel (2010) and AKA Gallery (2011 and 2012).
In 2010 he took part in a Ugandan-German cooperative theatre production travelling to Germany, Austria and Denmark. Waswad is one of the founders and members of Artpunch Studio in Kansanga, an initiative established in 2008 with the strong belief in collaboration as an important source of inspiration.
A Letter from Elephania
For KLA ART 012 Waswad executes a project rooted in ‘Elephanish’, an artistic language used to communicate his messages. This style of work reflects back to 2008 when Waswad first began to portray elephants in his paintings. Having developed this style for three years it finally manifested itself as Elephanish in his 2011 exhibition ‘I speak Elephanish’ at AKA Gallery.
This ‘language’ is characterised by colourful imagery of wildlife and animals in abstract surroundings. Waswad plays on the contrast between a dreamlike animal world and the human condition that raises questions surrounding social, economical and political importance.
Until now Elephanish has only been prevalent in Waswad’s painting and sculpture, but in ‘A Letter from Elephania’ the artist focuses mainly on performance and installation to express his vision. He transforms the container into an installation which includes painting and sculpture from his Elephanish series, whilst simultaneously arranging the exterior of the container with beds decorated with animal patterns.
The beds not only create a wildlife dreamscape but also challenge the boundary between personal and public space as they are placed along the street in the city centre of Kampala.
Waswad animates the objects by populating them with male and female models and the artist himself is seen to occupy one of the beds to symbolically send out his letter. This performance, which takes the form of a procession, compliments the installation through its movement and interaction. By directly addressing the public through the performance Waswad insists. “I don’t want the project to be stationary, I want it in movement”.
Waswad, who started out creating his own artistic language is now using KLA ART 012 to communicate his vision by projecting this dream world, the Republic of Elephania, onto the streets of Kampala.