Denmark June 2010: Working on the sculpture piece “New Portrait” in the Oddense Sculptors Symposium. Photo courtesy of Rose Kirumira archives.
A Senior Lecturer at the School Of Industrial and Fine Arts Makerere University, Rose Kirumira completed her doctoral studies and received her undergraduate and graduate training at the same University. She is one of the few Ugandan contemporary female artists specializing in the sculpture of the human form in wood normally with other media, clay and concrete.
Rose Kirumira has participated in several art residencies in many parts of the world. Since 1995 she has coordinated within the Triangle Artist Trust Workshops and Residence Network for Africa. This work has provided her with in-country experience in Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana. Working with some of the best artists in the African Residencies and the varied African experiences has greatly influenced and enriched Kirumira's work and has helped her style grow. The residencies also greatly informed her doctoral work. In her humble but incisive way, Rose Kirumira thinks this is her major contribution to the contemporary African art scene.
Rose Namubiru Kirumira is a contemporary artist well known in Uganda and internationally.
Rose casually point out "I did that " at some of her sculptures, as she runs around her errands. You cant help but look at her then steal a glance at these beautiful colossal peaces in amazement and wonder.
On the Ugandan scene, Rose has been very busy in both research and art production. She headed a Rockefeller Foundation project on improving literacy in the Primary schools in Uganda by Illustrating Children’s Story books, a Minds Across Africa Project, 1995-2005. She was lead researcher on AICAD’s An Improved Model of Indigenous Technology for a Ceramic Ware Cottage Industrial Cluster. There are very few professional and self-taught sculptors in Uganda in the last two decades that will not have been taught or influenced by her thoughts and experience. Significant art pieces in Uganda that have had her hand in them include the two majestic pieces at the UNDP building [Mother Uganda and UNDP both made between 1998-1990], the art piece of His Majesty Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II at Bulange made with the famous Prof Nagenda, Family at the Child Health and Development Center, and completing part of the Hatching the Golden Eggs sculpture by the late Prof George Kakooza at the Makerere Main Library roundabout. Majestic of course, symbolic definitely, in culture and form.
There are very few professional and self-taught sculptors in Uganda in the last two decades that will not have been taught or influenced by her thoughts and experience.
Rose is published. She has written on subjects connecting art with national development. For example, ‘Identity, Gender and Representation: Reflecting on the Sculpture ‘Mother Uganda’, in "Re-Contextualizing Self/Other Issues: Toward a Humanics in Africa," jointly hosted by Makerere and Kyoto Universities, 2007. Scholarly writing has also been done on her person as a sculptor. This includes Sunanda K. Sanyal’s 2004 ‘Transgressing Borders, Shaping an Art History, Rose Kirumira and Makerere’s Legacy’ in: Tobias Döring (ed.) African Cultures, Visual Arts, and the Museum - Sight/Sites of Creativity and Conflict. Matatu No.25-26, Journal for African Culture and Society. NY, New York.
For more information you can log onto
Rose Kirumira's official web site.
Council for International Exchange of Scholars.
Decorative piece, muvule wooden bowl with aluminum and copper embellishment.Photo courtesy of Rose Kirumira archives.
A significant part of Rose’s sculpture pieces is characterized by use of found media that she aesthetically and powerfully turns into stunning works of art. Photo courtesy of Rose Kirumira archives.
Rose Namubiru Kirumira had an urban upbringing that just like many Ugandans of the same generation, that was interrupted by the 1970's and early 1980's turmoil in Uganda. That experience has significantly shaped the character of her work in a way that she is conscious of wastage, scarcity, need for continuity and seeks to utilize everything that she finds especially that which has been thrown away or not given due attention. A significant part of Rose’s sculpture pieces is thus characterized by use of found media that she aesthetically and powerfully turns into stunning works of art .Professionally,
Denmark June 2000, installing the Sculpture piece Omulangira [the Prince] at Albourg. The art piece was made out of oak wood Photo courtesy of Rose Kirumira archives.
Rose is well travelled. She has been a Fulbright Scholar in the fall 1998 semester at De Anza College in California, USA; an artist in residence at the Thami Myele in Amsterdam, guest artist in Winnipeg, Canada; and as a sculptor in Changchun, China. She spent six months as Guest researcher at the Center for Africa Studies, University of Copenhagen, Denmark during 2007. She was a visiting student and artist in May 2006 at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala Sweden, where she used her artistic and playful spirit to embellish the rather bleak terrace at NAI (NAI website).