Inside Buregeya’s solo exhibition, Ode to motherhood

Innocent Buregeya (front) with the author at Women’s Bakery in Remera.

Ode to Motherhood opened at the Women’s Bakery in Remera on Wednesday night, and true to the theme, will run throughout the month of March.

Visual artist Innocent Buregeya returns to one of his favourite themes, hence, the choice of title for the exhibition, the venue, and the month. To his credit, the choice of venue—the Women’s Bakery in Remera—is a breath of fresh air from the usual art exhibition haunts in Kigali, most of which are located in the Kacyiru and Kimihurura locales.

Remera is not known for art exhibitions, and even much less known for the same is the Women’s Bakery, whose primary focus is empowering women through skilling them in bread making.

All the paintings on display centered on the subject of women, with some depicting their collective strength and communal instinct as a gender, while other paintings depicted their different moods and roles during the course of the day.

Buregeya talks to guests at the exhibition. 

The artist worked with acrylic paints on canvass to produce paintings with such titles as; Agasiga, Urunana, Umugoroba wababyeyi, Sun is just risen, Girls in the dream, Dancing in the rain, and The story behind my smile.

Prices for the pieces range from $100 for the smallest portraits, up to the $800 mark for the biggest and most vibrant painting, The story behind my smile. The painting bears the portraits of four beautiful African women, all beaming with smiles that project motherly dignity.

The artist left a handful of the paintings untitled, either because some of them were very personal stories, or because he wanted to give unfettered flight to the imagination of exhibition-goers.

“Look at it in terms of music; sometimes the title of a song may limit a person’s appreciation of the song,” the artist explained the choice of untitled paintings.

The artist worked with acrylic paints on canvass to produce various paintings.  / Photos by Nadege Imbabazi

The opening night was spiced up by accompanying piano music, although the crowd turn up was less-than-desirable.

The low turn up probably had something to do with the day—a Wednesday, which is not so popular with art events in Kigali as compared to the weekend.

There was also the issue of the Women’s Bakery in particular, and Remera in general not being traditional visual art venues, but both the exhibiting artists and the bakery management were confident the numbers would go up in the course of the month.

The artist will remit 30 per cent of proceeds from sales at the exhibition to the women’s empowerment cause at the bakery.

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