Artist Profile: Lilian Nabulime

Lilian Mary Nabulime has PhD from Newcastle University, UK. Her dissertation was titled “The Role of Sculptural Forms as a Communication Tool in Relation to the Lives and Experiences of Women with HIV/AIDS in Uganda”. Her earlier degrees
including a Master’s in Art are from Makerere University. She has received a number of awards including a British Academy Fellowship, Royal Overseas League Travel Fellowship, and a Commonwealth Scholarship. Recent exhibitions include Sculptural Expressions: Women and HIV-AIDS, Makarere University; Women and AIDS, at several venues in Norway; Glasgow School of Art; international exhibitions in Algeria, Denmark, and the United States.

In her words…

Different material, sensory and imaginary properties of familiar everyday objects might be productively transformed into sculptural works to facilitate debate about the beliefs and create a sculptural language that bypasses issues of literacy and transcends ethnic differences. By incorporating familiar everyday objects from African lives (e.g plastic plates, spoons) into sculptural forms it is possible to elicit and generate new ways of seeing and thinking about the forms and their meaning. For example, most women possess an embodied understanding of the plastic plates and spoons through the daily practice of preparing food. Thus when plastic plates and spoons are lined with other materials, such bicycle chains, ropes, painting rollers, a practical understanding emerges the responsibility of women to continuously to work to provide for their families.

Likewise the incorporation of nails and nuts within the sculptures allows people to ‘visualize’ need for women to be strong if they are to fend for their families especially in Africa. In addition sculptures are presented have been adorned with recycled metals that make them beautiful and strong. The use of recycled metals is important; sometimes women and children are regarded as second citizens; their views are usually disregarded yet they are important and will effectively contribute solutions to some of the problems that affect the world.

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