Primo Marella Gallery is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of talented Ugandan painter Godwin Champs Namuyimba, with a preview on Thursday 9 November.
The exhibition consists of a series of paintings depicting aspects of Namuyimba's imagination, with particular attention to intimate and vulnerable gestures. Namuyimba draws inspiration from everyday life, friends and family who are depicted in relaxed settings, surrounded by symbols of domesticity and cultural signifiers.
Together, the paintings form a unique narrative, with recurring images that act as a mirror of a society and a world that Namuyimba wants to share with us.
The strong, bright, bold colours and agile brushwork of the paintings resonate with a very personal aesthetic. They take us back to a very real context, with references to everyday life, but also filtered through a distorted fantastic vision. While underlying narratives about race, identity, individuality and aspirations for excellence that constantly lead the viewer to question cultural issues and transformation. We usually find singular or few subjects, where instead the context is full of references and very detailed objects that each of us uses in daily life. Namuyimba has a keen sense of observation for extracting the fantastic from the mundane and a poetry that is entirely unwitting of the humanity that people offer through insights into their most vulnerable and most intimate moments. When he paints he uses distortions and surreal perspectives that leave the viewer lost in the spaces.These disorienting views tell us about the act of looking, as if we were there ourselves, looking around, up and down, from side to side. Namuyimba shares this act of observation with past masters such as Paul Cezanne and Juan Gris, and his paintings coalesce into compositions that remind us that the act of observation is not static at all. From subject to content, the pictorial investigation Namuyimba is undertaking evokes thoughts of its place in an ever-evolving narrative that arises from the rapidly changing state of cultural production globally.
Says Namuyimba – “I use the human form to explore the construction of identity in relation to race and individuality in a postcolonial African context. I also attempt to critique stereotypical depictions of black people, while I explore the conflicts and tensions between the ideologies of Afrocentrism and Eurocentrism”.