Retrospective on "Vanishing Africa" John Mubiru.
In Eastern and Central Africa, artists acted as the record keepers charting major events and ceremonies such as birth, entry into manhood or womanhood, weather, harvest and most often death with two or three dimensional art. In most cases this art was placed onto buildings, houses, palaces or chieftain Kraals and grave sites. Also the regalia like masks and drums worn and used during some of the ceremonies was created by these artist to be representative of the times. Some of these works became treasures and symbols of power that if they were lost the leaders lost their authority to govern.
These lands are changing and so is the art. Whole societies have been uprooted by wars, mismanagement and famine some of it caused by climate change. But through this all I still have good memories of my childhood in Africa which I never paid much attention to until I left. But I have come to a realization that it's these memories which are the source of my inspiration.
When I visit these lands I see fewer and fewer people donning traditional regalia or attending the ceremonies. Through my work I try to portray a people who were rich in color, culture and tradition. I have always hoped that my work will keep events, pastimes and ceremonies of a people in transition to not forget we were a derivative of the past. To give those who were born in a later time a glimpse into the lives of a people who had a way of life that is changing “A VANISHING AFRICA”.