Issue 719 - Page 33

of growth . The monument like a plant growing from the earth is firmly rooted in the ground and therefore has the ability to wither any storm . This is a characteristic of the strong and vibrant economy the authority as helped to forge through its management of the city .
In this sculpture , the artist seemed to be intent to create a mutual relationship between art and architecture by exploring both elements of the two disciplines . The exploration of depth , proportionality , form and size in a single artwork is representation of how art and architecture can coexist into one single unit , but also compliment each other . This fusion is critical because it imbues the City ’ s modernist and post modernist architecture and the aesthetic nature of its natural landscape . From a critical perspective , each aspect of the elements used , was delicately explored to create a complex image that is distinctly beautiful . It is through this exploration that the visitors gaze is captured and entertained to this work of art .
Such technical dexterity can also be observed in an open air sculpture Freedom sitting next to the sculptural studio at the Makerere art school . Unlike , the Centenary Monument which is abstract in nature and speaks to the development of the city , the former is figurative with a bust of a young woman representing the theme of freedom . The woman ’ s bust built from concrete is presented with a gazelle neck and smooth slender face to illustrate her immense beauty . Yet her striking physical appearance is desecrated by the empty eye sockets she wears and an open mouth that conceals her beautiful full lips . In the same manner , the posture of the model ’ s face is slightly tilted to the left ; a reflection of her discomfort . Such artistic ploy invites suspense and mystery into the sculpture with the curious onlooker asking questions what message could the artist possibly be conveying to the public . The same feeling may grip many a visitor to the Centenary Park when they first encounter the memorial Monument .
The decimated physical features on the woman and a tilted face symbolize social-cultural and economic estrangement women get exposed to in different spaces across the country . Though there has been a persistent awareness on women freedoms like freedom of expression and education by different women activist groups , many women especially in rural settings are still socially and economically held captive . Conversely ,
Freedom Sculpture
even in urban centres and elite spaces like Universities , the female gender silently encounters forms of sexual harassment and gender discrimination that infringe on their natural freedom . Here , the artist assumes the role of a social activist advocating for freedom of women rights through building the sculpture on campus .
Sylvia Katende showcases outstanding technical dexterity and in these two artworks . The artist delves into research and experimental processes to achieve a distinguished identity for her art . In the case of the Centenary Monument , she
settles for a subtle fusion of art and architectural elements to create a complex but magnificent sculpture that compliments the city ’ s bustling landscape . On the other hand , the Freedom figurine at Makerere is built with an aptitude of a refined sculptor who respects essential sculptural elements like depth , form and proportionality . It is this expression of studio prowess that ably elevates her sculptural works to master pieces . Similarly , this expertise qualifies her as one of the best sculptors of her generation .
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