Memories is a form-rich and colorful collection of stories told to the canvases of Kizito Maria Kasule, born 1962.
Through his work, Kasule has gained a significant voice both inside and outside Uganda's art community. He is as much a philanthropist, social entrepreneur and community activist as he is an artist.
Kizito M. Kasule had to start the fight for his art early on. Born into a sibling group of 12, he was expected to help on the farm instead of attending school. But Kasule's desire for knowledge and education was fierce, so he was asked to leave the family and manage himself when he was 11 years old. Kasule lived from hand to mouth, he went to school in the morning and worked to survive in the afternoon.
In 1987, the civil war started in Uganda, and Kasule was arrested. After tough years in the military prison, he managed to escape from Uganda.
After the war, Kasule was able to return home, and in 1992 he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at Makerere University in Kampala. In 2003 he received his PhD, and today Kasule is Dean at the same university.
Parallel to the work of the university and its own paintings, Kizito M. Kasule is passionate about giving everyone an opportunity to develop their own art and creativity. As a result, he has started the Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design (NIAAD).
Kizito Maria Kasule has donated in full all the proceeds from the exhibition MEMORIES to support disadvantaged students at NIAAD, and to the development of the institute for the university.
In MEMORIES I visually recall and record my personal experience that has dominated my sculptural and painterly works during the previous twenty years. The works are inspired by my love of the traditional African classical sculptures, which has inspired many modern artists such as Pablo Picasso among others. The classical African sculptures were made by our ancestors for social-cultural purposes. We inherited these forms and the purposes for which they were made.
My paintings carry a dual visual heritage; the African and Western. My interest in still life painting is not only to reproduce what I see, but also reflects my emotional reactions and the captured moments of my passing memories. What is important in painting is not what we visually see but rather the memories we retain when we enter into dialogue with an art work that we encounter. This is what matters; this is what creates the memorial dialogue between the artist and the viewer.
Kizito Maria Kasule
With the Nagenda International Academy of Art and Design (NIAAD), Kizito M. Kasule has wanted to create an educational environment that facilitates students to develop their creative skills into a viable entrepreneurship.
In cooperation with Norwegian Norwegian Eirik Jarl Trondsen, Kasule has established scholarship schemes for socially disadvantaged students, which by means of the funds raised will have the opportunity to receive education that creates both personal and social growth in Uganda.
NIAAD is now being developed at the African Institute of Arts and Design, outside Kampala, Uganda.
Some of the student works at NIAAD are included in the exhibition MEMORIES, and the proceeds from the sale of Kasule's paintings go entirely to the institution and scholarship schemes.