The seventy-five years celebration of Kasaala Parish in Luweero district has prompted the Parish Priest with a dedicated team to give the parish a face lift. The old church building which was constructed without the use of cement and wooden roofing structures have been given a modern touch. Most of the wood that had been eaten up by termites have been replaced. The walkways around the parish have also been renovated and so are the gardens. But very attractive in the whole setup are the works on display by the artists. Once again, Lot Patrick [the sculptor who featured in our 595 issue of September 2019] has erected an eleven feet sculpture of the crucified Christ. It is located at the church compound just in front of the parish offices next to the priests’ house.
Interesting to note is that, on your left, as you approach the church building, is a brand new grotto. Magnificently done and dedicated to Our Lady of Annunciation. Paintings in brilliant colors are on display by a young visual artist called Joseph Kiregga. His paintings in bright colors depict The Annunciation, The Nativity, The Holy Family and The Baptism of Christ. Joseph’s touch is simple yet he blends both primary and secondary hues. The brightness of his work gives the surrounding a Holy feeling for silent worshippers. Joseph’s journey in the art world started at a very young age, where he liked making sketches of almost anything around him.
After completion of secondary education, he joined Michelangelo School of art and design where he graduated in 2015, with a major in painting. “My desire was to join the main university but because I lacked funding, I ended up at Michelangelo.” Joseph narrates. He further stressed that he would have majored in sculpture but because of the costs involved in material, he opted for the moderate painting.
Joseph is an all-round painter. Though most of his work is done in oil paint to satisfy his clients, the use of other media; like water color and acrylic is nothing new to him. Throughout his learning journey, Joseph noted the overwhelming support he got from his brother, Ben who was very instrumental because of the encouragement he accorded him.
After school, like most graduates, Joseph sought employment with many firms. He recalls vividly how he worked for a certain Kasese Sculpture foundation for about a month but unfortunately, they didn’t employ him. It is then that he decided to put his abilities to the test and work on his own, despite the financial constraint. Based on that setup, he embarked on doing ‘small small’ contracts with several clients. He outlined many examples of his work in different places including; St. Cyprian Kyabakade, built by Kampala Archbishop, Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, Kisubi hospital Malakai Eco Lodge, among others places.
When asked what his future plans are, Joseph looks forward to opening a studio with the aim of teaching under privileged children who have a talent in art. He hopes to pass on the skills he has gained to the young so that they can be self reliant even in their desperate situation. However, he observed his strain being finance and the young family he has to take care of. Observing that his talent in art is a gift from God, he places hope on hope to see his dream come to reality.
By R.N. Ayago
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