Sheila Nakitende

Pitso (the head dress)
waste newspaper and bark cloth
12.5 x 39 in.

The diversity in my practice reflects daily encounters living and working as a female artist in an environment that restricts freedom of expression. I strive to use my skills to reach out to my community to understand art as an informative mode of expression engaging them creatively and collaboratively as we seek solutions to challenges that we face. This particular body of work is an evolution towards self- discovery. Through exploring mixed media with waste paper in diverse technique such as weaving and twisting, I seek to highlight personal creative, cultural evolution and independence. The work is constructed with primitive and native intent inspired by the traditional basket-weavers in Uganda who are mostly women and are among the low class of society. Not only is their beautiful and talented work often overlooked as simply craft but their role in society ignored. They have not only preserved our methodological history but contributed to nurturing our society through resilience, persistence and sacrifice. I choose to use paper a communication media to weave diverse circumstances and express interaction with all current aspects of our identity. I reconstruct and create artwork which reflects the practical history of the techniques from weavers placing it under a different light to magnify their importance and distinct elements that make up our national identity while telling our stories for cultural development. This process has molded an emphasis on contemporary transformation of materials and technique. Paper is expressively able to alter and adapt the construction of cloth, sculpture and any other form.

© Sheila Nakitende