@THE-EAST-AFRICAN

Africa First as Biennale brings back studios - 12 months ago, 20 Apr 13:50

Frank Whalley

Even as Kenya hosts Western artists of international stature, so neighbours Uganda seem determined not to be left out.

But while Kampala became the centre of formal art teaching in the region with the setting up of the Margaret Trowell School at Makerere — alumni include Elimo Njau and Eli Kyenune — the Ugandans remain focused on the riches this continent has to offer, rather than on the West — at least geographically if not in stylistic development.

Thus the forthcoming Kampala Biennale, third in the series, is to feature a return to the old tradition of the studio system whereby pupils studied at the feet of renowned artists.

It is how Leonardo learnt his trade (from Andrea del Verrocchio); Michelangelo too (Domenico Ghirlandaio) — in fact all of them, until the idea of the artist as solitary genius became current in the early 19th Century with the birth of Romanticism.

Co-ordinating a ...
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