Ugandan sculptor Dr Rose Kirumira

KIRUMIRA ROSE NAMUBIRU is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Industrial and Fine Arts, Makerere University (1987-2011) where she also graduated with a PhD (Makerere University) on “The Formation of Contemporary Visual Artists in Africa: Revisiting Residency Programmes”. Her main engagement over the years was attending numerous artist’s workshops and residencies in Africa and around the world where she obtained experiences about contemporary visual art and artists’ practices. These varied professional experiences accorded her the opportunity to have an insight of artist’s networks within and outside of Uganda.

Professionally, she is one of the few widely recognized and well exhibited female sculptors in Uganda. She has participated in various exhibitions namely “Different But One”, at Makerere University Art Gallery since 1998; Annual Group exhibitions of “Women on the Move” up to 2000; “Artist of the Millennium” exhibition at Makerere and Nommo Gallery, 2000.

She also made outstanding public monuments and projects such as the sculptures for the Don Bosco Vocational School Chapel, Kamuli, 1997, and among numerous others had exhibitions such as “Faces” 1996 and “Personalities” 2010 at Tulifanya Art Gallery, Kampala. However her strength is making monumental sculptures for example working under the renowned Prof. Francis Naggenda to make the statue of “King Ronald Mutebi” at the Buganda Parliament and “Family” at Mulago Hospital Kampala. She also made the two famous sculptures ‘Mother Uganda’ and ‘UNDP’ at the former UNDP Headquarters currently National Planning Authority house, Clement Hill Road.

Dr. Kirumira’s professional life as an artist has been significantly international in creating several monumental sculptures around the world, most noteworthy being “The Page”, Winnipeg Canada 1995; “Ambassador”, USA 1999, ‘Omumbejja” in Denmark between 1997-2010 and “Friendship” Changchun, China 2000.

Her sculpture has evolved around traditional visual art skills, techniques and knowledge incorporating local shapes, designs and color in the work to develop a style tending towards decorative arts and crafts. Her style currently covers the use of a wide range of traditional materials, found and mixed media and formats. Her philosophy and subjects favored have been fueled by the need to make visual commentaries about changing material culture.