Rebirth of Rwandan art through painting

Painting is an art and the practice of applying colour to a surface such as, paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer or concrete.
Creative painting defines Ivuka. (File photo).
Creative painting defines Ivuka. (File photo).

Painting is an art and the practice of applying colour to a surface such as, paper, canvas, wood, glass, lacquer or concrete.

“The art of painting in Rwanda has not been popular of late partly because people have not got exposure to it,” says Innocent Nkurunziza.

Nkurunziza is member of Ivuka arts- a group that derives its name from a Kinyarwanda word Ivuka meaning birth. the group staged a live exhibition of painting at Torero café last Tuesday.

Ivuka Arts Kigali is a group of established artists who are dedicated to  a discovering and nurturing young talent while launching Rwandan contemporary art to global heights. He continues and says that they still have a long journey to go before Rwandans get used to the culture of painting.

“Our pieces are normally bought by tourists who come to Rwanda and some few Rwandans who know the value of such artistic paintings,” he says.

Asked if he went to school to learn this painting art, Nkurunziza says that he is self made painter who has been training for some years.

“With painting, it is a matter of loving what you do and being able to listen to advice from experienced people and improve. He continues to say that the type of painting he was practicing is called impressionism. Impressionism was a 19th-century art movement that began as a loose association of Paris-based artists exhibiting their art publicly in the 1860s. The name of the movement is derived from the title of a Claude Monet work, Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant), which provoked the critic Louis Leroy to coin the term in a satiric review published in Le Charivari. Asked how he does it, Nkurunziza says that any one doing impressionism kind of painting needs to be able to think ahead. You hold your bush and start painting and by the time you finish, you should be having a real nice piece of art that is explainable and good for consumption,” he says. 

Sam Gashugi, one of the people who  attended the exhibition says that there is need for more sensitisation and explanations to make the Rwandans love art.

“Art is so good because it explains many things in a silent way and it can be a very good way of expressing some one’s views on different things be it nature, society, and politics.”

Jadon Murodahabi loves art. He says Rwandans should try to embrace it in order to enjoy the good things in art.

“My advice to the young people out there who feel that they have a talent in painting is to join us and to improve our work and culture. Painting can express the heritage of a country,” says Nkurunziza.

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