By Ange Theonastine Ashimwe

Art is art… isn’t it? And colors are colors and water is water and the canvas is just a canvas; unless you want to give it a meaning. For RigoBert Uwiduhaye, he says things on canvas with colors, adds a little touch of water, and shapes what he couldn’t say any other way – things he has no words for.

Growing up, the 24-years-old visual artist loved drawing and would sketch just about anything he saw or imagined. His passion flourished when he joined an art school, Ecole d’Art de Nyundo, in Rubavu.

“I have been painting my way through life,” he says.

He focuses on the nature of art, aiming to paint the conservation of animals through the combination of colors. His painting is; a language of its own inspired by living near the Volcano National Park full of wild animals and wonders.

“I can not go and tell the poacher to not kill animals. But, at least, if I can paint a gorilla, in colors, maybe he will fall in love with it and… he won’t kill it.” His painting brings about love for the wild.

Well, he can drive most greens from the back trees.

He enthuses that East African art has a life of its own and that life is coming through.

“We have the galleries, the art schools, the infrastructure for artists, and we are building more,” says Uwiduhaye, the visual artist. “We have hustles and amazing complicated history in East Africa; we have a beautiful story to tell through art.”

“I mean art was not even on the school curriculum a few years ago, but East African artists are doing amazing. So, I imagine what is going to happen with more art schools, galleries, and infrastructure.” He continues.

Uwiduhaye has so much hope for East Africa art. In his own words, “I don’t know where the next Picasso is going to come from, but East Africa has decided that art is important.”

A boy born into royalty, and destined to rule over a green kingdom.

Apart from being a painter, Uwiduhaye has a community library which he co-founded with Umuhuza Denyse, Munyabuhoro Prosper, Isangwe Sabine, Karekezi R. Patience, and Mukiza Aime.

He says that a book can let you travel to many beautiful places without moving your feet and that is why he initiated an art class for people who have disabilities at his co-founded library.

In 2018, his first solo exhibition was held at Crema Coffee Shop in Musanze City, and his second solo exhibition was held at the same place. And few of his paintings were exhibited in ‘Life in the Brush,” an exhibition that brings artists together in Kampala, Uganda.

The abstract and details in his painting have a very ethereal quality – the way he uses textures to communicate a sense of beauty and motion is amazing.

“Not only do I enjoy the abstract, details, and different texture in my work for aesthetic reasons, but the process of creating the flow is somewhat thoughtful to me. It is an ever-evolving theme in my work. It has come to represent many things, but overall I think that it represents a sense of mystery,” He mentions.

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