Ugandan Artist Gillian Abe’s Works Reflect Fears and Expectations of People in Transition
27-year-old Ugandan Stacey Gillian Abe is an artist to be reckoned with for her unique works of art, which all started with painting and drawing in 2008 while in high school.
A multidisciplinary contemporary artist, her works speak of insecurities, fears, and expectations of people while in transition, and moving through dimensions and spheres.
“We are spiritual beings pretending to be human. At the time, when these areas are affected or disturbed, even partially, we begin to dislike what we have, know and own”. Gillian Averrs.
Gillian finds herself torn between the need to withstand and evolve into what society prefers her to be or rapture prematurely and face what she fears most she might become. Abe describes herself as “reserved”. Her work highlights the strengths and fragility of the female mind. It attempts to critique stereotypical depictions of her as a black woman.
“My passion started from the need to express myself more, I am not an introvert but a bit reserved,” she says.
Finding it relatively easy to express her thoughts, Gillian documents her experiences and puts down her imagination through art.
“From that, I grew fond of art as a form of expression. I decided to continue with it at university in 2010. A huge part of my practice now revolves around highlighting complex situations as autobiographical documentation of past and continuous experiences. I like creating room for dialogue.”
In her multi-layered glass art, video and performance installations, she has examined the unconscious thought processes to question, highlight and raise awareness on behaviour and character that influence and make up an individual.
Abe has shown her works for various exhibitions including at Institut Français de Kinshasa, Circle Art Agency in Nairobi and the Johannesburg Art Gallery.