Munroe’s Studio: ‘Where God Built This Church, the Devil Built This Chapel’

Lavar Munroe. The Artist-Trickster is an interdisciplinary artist whose work encompasses painting, drawing, sculpture, installation art, and a hybrid medium that straddle the line between sculpture and painting.

I would like to facilitate the construction of a larger than life-sized grouping of singing (choir/opera) that will take the form of 6 to 8 feet free standing mask-like heads to create a mass (grouping) that will confront, challenge and guide viewers through the biennials space.

Like masks, votives and amulets throughout religious and mythological history, the heads will be embellished with meaningful and culturally relevant objects from in and around Kampala, be in from personal homes, streets, or animistic objects believed to have specific powers. They will all have the mouths theatrically opened as if rejoicing or crying or conversating or singing. 

The objects will then be covered in latex (paint or solvent) to secure the fragile pieces and also to give them a sense of uniformity. These works will all take on personalized characteristics as individuals in the workshop will be giving free reign to interpret each mask (guardians/votives/performers) as they see fit giving mere size and structural guidelines from myself. The embellishments and most of the construction will be a community effort. The uniformity of things will occur once the masks are painted in white latex paint and erected in and around the space.

APPRENTICES IN MUNROE'S STUDIO 

The following young artists have been selected and are participating as apprentice in Lavar Munroe's studio. At the moment they are interacting online through Zoom and Whatsapp.

WAKIANDA VIRGINIA (Kenya)

Wakianda is a freelance visual artist and a fashion designer. She has gone out of her way to merge both distinctive fields to create mind blowing pieces. Born and raised in Nairobi, Wakianda has become conversant with the day to day urban lifestyle. Pursuing her degree in B.A. in Fashion Design and Marketing at Kenyatta University, has enabled her to acquire the required skills in creating and designing. Moreover, Wakianda was part of the Art Collective Ziwa Zambarau and gradually became an independent artist. She has used various mediums to create artworks: acrylics, graphite, mixed media, sculptor and art photography. She has also worked  with fabrics as a mixed media and created profound art pieces.

Wakianda has participated in the Kenya Art Fair 2017, with her art collective Ziwa Zambarau. She has as well taken part in the Kenya Fashion Awards Next Gen Weekend 2018 in showcasing her creative wear. Wakianda will be holding a solo  exhibiting at the Goethe Institute KE for the Sasa Nairobi Series in November 2020.

Katesi Jacqueline Kalange is a multi media artist from Uganda, specialising in sculpture and painting. 

KATESI JACQUELINE KALANGE (Uganda) 

Katesi Jacqueline Kalange is a multi media artist from Uganda, specialising in sculpture and painting. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Art and Industrial design at Kyambogo University.

Her work focusses on installation woven sculpture, and painting where Jaqueline expresses herself using available natural, mixed with recyclable materials within the environment such as polythene bags, rattan canes, fabrics, and metal for sculpture and acrylics supplemented with soil for paintings.

"As an artist, am inspired by nature because I feel nature is still holding onto the values we are losing as human beings currently, for example love, genuinity, unity, peace, coexistence, to mention but a few."

Therefore through her multimedia art, she intents to speak to the community and remind them of indigenous values that we once had and assisted us to co-exist in harmony as well as conducively.