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Sqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photosSqoop – Get Uganda entertainment news, celebrity gossip, videos and photos

Fashion & Beauty

An art and fashion affair in the Bright House

A model in Denim Cartel collection. Even if she has not had an exhibition at home yet, Karungi’s (inset) work has been used. PHOTO/ANDREW KAGGWA

Uganda’s creative economy has usually struggled with keeping up with the times. For instance, as many people are taking their music online, a great number of local artistes are still trying to produce and sell CDs.

Yet, even in the maze of confusion, there are artists shaping their own narratives in ways they feel work for them better. Many have referred to these as the new school artists, they curate their own events, have their own crowd and somehow, they have garnered a cult following among a section of Ugandans.

For music, these are artistes such as Joshua Baraka, Kohen Jayce, Akeine, Denesi, and Ceee, and most of the time, during their shows, you will see people singing along, even those that may not be on popular radio.
The kinds of creatives breaking boundaries, however, are not limited to music, some are designers, while others are visual artists.

On Saturday, at Garden City Rooftop, during the music edition of the Guinness Bright House, visual artists and fashionistas may have tamed the thunder of music.

Walk with me; it is not every day that a show with very many artistes and DJs has a visual artist standing out and making their mark, yet on Saturday, even with many amazing performances lined up, some of which were from super producers and singers, a digital artist and a fashion designer caught revellers by surprise.

This was Natasha Karungi, alias Kashushu, a digital artist whose prints welcomed and engaged revellers at different levels. She says she used to be a painter, but when she discovered digital art, she noticed there was more she could do digitally.

Karungi’s works are rich in colour yet her topics are not that colourful, her works usually interrogate human connections, friendships and other themes around mental health. Even when her works are rich in colour and are easily inviting, some easily become uncomfortable when you understand what she is talking about.

Karungi is one of the new age artists who fuse their skill as painters into new technology with the purpose of addressing issues about humanity or preserving history. Her artwork, Waliyo Akawala, seems to document the courting process in the old days, while another artwork, Overthinking, one of the most engaging works on display, delves into a continuous circle of thinking about the same thing over and over.

Karungi has exhibited her works in different countries but is yet to exhibit in Uganda, probably because most Ugandans are yet to embrace digital art as art.

“I have heard people say that this is not real art, though slowly, they have been changing their perception,” she says.

However, even when Karungi is yet to exhibit in our galleries, her work is at least in many Ugandan homes. It is her work that features on the Uganda Waragi Lemon and Ginger Limited edition, the logo that features Nyege Nyege revellers and robust colours was created by her.

Besides visual art, another outstanding showcase was that of Denim Cartel. This is a creation of Troy Elimu, and at the Bright House, he was showcasing his Currency Season, mainly inspired by Ugandan currency.

His showcase was well thought out, mixing fashion and music. Troy collaborated with producer Axon, mainly known for working with Joshua Baraka, to put together music dedicated to the Currency Season. This music features artistes such as Joshua Baraka, Herbert Ssensamba, and A Pass, among others.

Some of the music was played as the models in the latest Denim Cartel collection walked the runway, though it was Kanye West’s carnival theme that stood out. Later, they modelled another collection mainly inspired by American rapper Kendrick Lamar; to this end, they used Not Like Us, a Drake diss, as a soundtrack.

Besides fashion and art, however, there were also performances by Akeine Niwe, Kohen Jayce, Denesi, and Azawi.

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