Theresa Musoke (Ugandan, born c. 1944)
Birds, circa 2000
Signed ‘Theresa Musoke’ (lower right)
Mixed media on canvas
86.5 x 104 cm
Sold Ksh 223,060
Provenance: direct from the artist
Theresa Musoke is best known for her expressive portrayals of African wildlife, using a range of mediums to develop imagery. Musoke’s sensitivity to the nature of her subject is exemplified in this painting Birds where she captures the fluidity of forms in flight, as they move in and out of shadows.
Her work first began to receive attention while she was an undergraduate student at the Margaret Trowell School of Fine Arts in Kampala, at a time when very few women were studying in higher education. Musoke then received a scholarship to complete a Masters in Printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London.
On receiving her post-graduate diploma, Musoke returned to live in East Africa, where she was based in Nairobi for many years. In 1965 she became the first female artist to have a solo exhibition in post-independence Kenya. She continued to exhibit frequently in local galleries such as Paa ya Paa, Gallery Watatu and African Heritage.
Musoke has been a highly influential figure in Kenyan and Ugandan art, not only for her celebrated visual practice, but also as a teacher. She has taught art at Margaret Trowell School of Fine Arts, Kenyatta University and the International School of Kenya.
This painting, from circa 2000, was included in the recent retrospective exhibition of Musoke’s work held at the Nairobi Gallery in 2017.