Dr Rose Kirumira
Educator, Artist and Sculptor
My work interrogates the groundedness of cultural spaces specifically material objects, personalities and narratives with problematic meanings due to displacement from theirhistorical craftsmanship and performative context.I explore the connections and relationships between objects, object making and issues of identity placement of a personal nature and,own lived experiences. Theartwork for me thentakes on a new responsibility, it becomes a tool for visual affirmation, proclamation and emancipation.
The process, treatment of surfaces and mark-making is integral to my work. I reconstruct form as concept, mixing old and new, a palette of wood and metal. The element of repetition andre-imaginingof cultural objects and contextson a monumental scale dominates mysculpture projects.I have found that the idea of using various techniques of assembling, hammering, fastening and stitching, chisel marks, singeing, or metal inlaysalways comes together as moments of achievement. This is not always simple, especially when I leave my own familiar space at home in Uganda and work in a different or 'foreign' environment. ThenI seek to find similarities of objects, of spaces and of personalities but also disparities in how to approach the process. I aspire to create a fusion of experiences that speaks to the cultural objects. My concept of form changes,I express inthe natural and industrial; paper and cloth, wire and thread.Anew forum forconversation emerges, or a different choral ensemble, with people and objectscarried to myown personal space of creative expression.
The body of work I am currently investigating is inspired by 'TheCooking Pot'traditionally known as 'entamu' (a traditional clay pot) or known as 'sefuliya'.Borrowed from a Swahili word 'sufuria' commonly referring to a flat based, deep sided lipped and handleless cooking pot or container. It iswidely used by the Bantu of Eastern and Southern Africa.
Building off my previous body of work on the Omweso, a mancala board game, the current project embraces the socio-cultural and technological transformations in form and function of cooking pots. As typical household items they present a tremendous personal opportunity for reflection about the narratives surrounding domesticity and the negotiation of personal spaces therein. Metal cooking pots, probably introduced by Arab traders in Eastern Africa in the 16th century, gradually replacingthe traditional entamu clay pot bring with them a shift in the social cultural dynamic in the cooking habits of communities where they were introduced as well as the socially and symbolically constructed functions of entamu.