Godfried Donkor seeks inspiration from the past

Godfried Donkor’s apprentices research into Uganda’s past images

“Donkor describes artists as hoarders, always collecting text and images to be used in later works. His creative process often begins with someone sending him a series of images or text. Donkor often assembles text and images from 1800s literature as a starting point. Donkor plans his layout with these images before beginning the drawing process, as an outline to each collage.. “(Wanjiru Koinange for Africa Centre)

image courtesy of Africa Centre (2017)

Godfried Donkor, born in 1964, is a Ghanaian artist, living and working in London, who has exhibited in Cuba, Mexico, the US, Europe and Africa. He is known primarily for his work in collage, and has been described as similar to Keith Piper and Isaac Julien in his output. Taking inspiration from the people of Africa and Europe, Godfried Donkor’s influences encompass topics in relation to historical events and social issues. The commercialization of the human and the rise of the African American, are the most common themes used in his art. Working mostly in collage, Donkor uses mixed-media such as newspapers, lace, sheet music and other paper materials as a background to majority of his pieces. Donkor layers illustrations and photographic images that often juxtapose one another.

Godfried Donkor: Studio 5th – 14th July 2018 at Design Hub Kampala

Godfried selected the following Apprentices to participate in his Studio:

Allan Kyakonye (Uganda)

Kyakonye Allan is a multimedia artist who uses the process of bricolage of tinkering fusing artistic pastiche with historical awareness. Scraps of foil paper are joined together to create an unlikely canvas. Eggshells are dried cracked and crashed to form the primary tool for painting as a central to sociological analysis of how majority and minority identities are constructed. The motive is to seek to put a critical spotlight on the way in which social identities to reflect the way individuals and groups internalize established categories within the society such as cultural, gender, class identities and so on.

The idea of the otherness becomes a sort of plagiarism a way of coping with our daily lives and vices. He is a graduate of Makerere University with bachelors in industrial and fire art since 2013 he has worked with publishing houses as well as the National curriculum development centre on illustration projects. In 2017, he took part in the group exhibition and workshop “SURFACES” on Afriat galley on 7th.

Gilbert Musinguzi (Uganda)

Gilbert Musinguzi was born in 1991, Kabale District South-Western Uganda. He graduated from Kyambogo University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Art and Industrial Design, majoring into painting and sculpture. He currently experiments with a variety of art materials such as kavera (polyethylene bags), oils, acrylics on canvas in Beehive Art studio located in Kampala city. Gilbert is a semi-abstract impressionist taking a critical view of natural, cultural, political and economic issues in his society, mostly inspired by the life of a common person in his community.

He has exhibited in various local and international group exhibitions including; the first collective exhibition 2017 in Juba South-Sudan, the Kenya Art fair 2017 in Nairobi, Jamafest 2017 in Kampala and participated in Barclays L’Artelier art competition 2017 in Cape Town. Gilbert is the overall winner for the Sadolin Mabati Challenge 2016 in Kampala and the winner of the Art category for Ji-ai fashion house Black Outlet program 2017 in Spain. Gilbert is a member of Uganda visual artists and designers association (UVADA), 32 degrees east and JBOP (Ji-ai Black Outlet program).

Wamala Kyeyune Joseph (Uganda)

Wamala Kyeyune Joseph is a painter and sculptor who has worked freelance with a couple of galleries in Kampala but mainly with Fitsjerald Art Studio as a portrait artist and other custom art works. Born 1993 and raised in Kampala, he attended Michelangelo College of arts to pursue a diploma in art after high school and later graduated from Kyambogo university with a degree in industrial art and design.

His interest in art was recognized since in pre-primary school, as his mother bought him an art text book to teach him how to really draw. His mother remembers him drawing every single detail of the drawing in the book into a collection of all sorts of papers that he called a sketchbook. Wamala has worked on a few reputable art projects; like Empaako monument with Bayimba Foundation, Surfaces Exhibition with Afriart Gallery,  Food lab with Hivos, climate change exhibitions with Jabulani and also executed works with  UHMG, UNFPA, Skyz hotel, Mestil hotels, and other clients. Wamala’s compositions have always rotated around expressions in portraiture for they speak a lot and he reflects the life he has grown through and the life around he’s community in his artworks.

Adrian Migadde (Uganda)

Migadde Adrian (Guy) born in 1989 in Kampala, has a degree in Industrial fine art from Uganda Christian University Mukono and majored in sculpture, textile and painting.

Growing up in a family and environment with mostly women and girls, Adrian developed a  peculiar eye for detail, color, humor, human emotions and body  language, which has hence shaped his artistic life, career and art techniques. His artistic expressions are vivid and he uses  different mediums like pen, wine and spirit drawings, photo and magazine collages as well as colorful acrylic paintings. He tries to tackle emotional affairs that surround his day to day life and community. He notices a huge fight for power and dominance without minding of the deep emotional damages and complications  we cause to our earthly sisters and brothers. This made him focus on commissioned art, until recently when he broke out of his comfort to try and talk about these issues visually, for example in the “Surface group exhibition” in Kampala and a group exhibition in Torino Italy titled “Compagnia del mercoledi”.

Brian Magala Kiwanuka (Uganda)

Magala is an artist painter, sculpture and graphic designer based in Kampala, born in 1985 in Jinja. He uses water color on soft stone, charcoal on glass, and metal fabrication. Besides being an artist he works as a computer graphics designer, mostly for clients that require company branding.  In his young career, he participated in the Uganda Art fare at the Uganda Museum may 2016 and Surfaces Exhibition at Afriart on 7th in August 2017. He is happy to be participating in the Kampala Biennale as apprentice in Godfried Donkor’s studio.

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