Lilian Mary Nabulime (Ph.D. University of Newcastle UK)
Senior Lecturer and former Head of the Sculpture Department in the School of Industrial and Fine Arts (CEDAT), Makerere University. I hold a Ph.D. in Fine Art (Newcastle University 2007), the research was on: The role of sculptural forms as a communication tool in relation to the lives and experiences of women with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. My work uses ordinary objects (for example, soap, sieves, cloth, mirror, metal cans, car metal parts, found objects ….) to embody a specific social agenda namely disease, gender issues, environment that attempts to raise awareness and promote discussion as well as moving the meaning of art beyond the visual.
Awards and fellowships attained include:
Commonwealth Fellowship Award UK (2012);
Robert Sterling Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, USA (2011);
African Stones Talk Sculpture Symposium (AST), Kenya (2011);
British Academy International Visiting Fellowship 2009;
ROLS UK (2009 and 2008) and; Commonwealth Fellowship Award, UK (1997).
I have exhibited my work at both solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including USA (2015 - 2013), Rome (2009/10), UK (1997 - 2016), Denmark (2007, 2014, 2017/18), Norway (2006, 2004), Sweden (2001, 2014, 2018), Rwanda (2014), Belgium (1997), Kenya (1995-2004, 2016, 2017), South Africa (1995), Mozambique (1995), Namibia (1998), Zimbabwe (1995), Algeria (2009), Germany (1998), .
My inspirations for sculpture are derived from nature, experiences, and people. Most of my sculptures are made of wood. I am passionate about carving wood, though the hard work that it involves lots of time. I usually chose wood that exhibits unusual forms that are unique. The character of my sculptures is dynamic, organic with a rhythm that flows along the grain, growth pattern of the tree forms and often produces a sensational spiral movement. I respect the integrity of the tree’s natural forms and shapes as I carve and unravel their natural internal beauty. My approach to sculpture is basically contemporary in its intrusiveness. Exploring and appropriating materials as sources of artistic inspiration into sculptural forms offers a wealth of ideas. There is much to gain for example: studying wood materials like roots or found wood for artistic expressions that contribute to visual communication and visual interaction of ideas.
My forms and finishes are selected to reveal the grain flow of the wood and enchanting the grains colors and dyes and oil finishes or wax. I do love to add textures to the forms. Sometimes I nail metal sheets on wood or char/burn wood for color or remove weak parts.
I am also interested in art/sculpture that communicates issues namely disease and the environment. I have gained experiences through experimenting with other materials. Studying other materials reveals man’s relation to nature. It is spiritually enlightening: forces of growth and change; creation and destruction, life and death. For example, while developing sculptures for HIV/AIDs awareness. I was compelled to use various materials that are symbolic translating disease into sculptures that can communicate to diverse groups of people and also overcome language barriers. Some of the sculptures were developed from everyday objects (for example, soap, sieves, cloth, mirror, metal cans, car metal parts, found objects ….) to embody a specific social agenda that attempts to raise awareness and promote discussion as well as moving the meaning of art beyond the visual.
The above experiences gained are mostly put to use when teaching or facilitating workshops both nationally, internationally, and demonstrations are usually done while curving, modeling clay/soap or making forms in various materials.