Theresa Musoke Presentation

Circle Art Gallery, 1-25 March 2023

Theresa Musoke (Ugandan b. 1944)

Lives and works in Kampala

As the final presentation in 910 James Gichuru Road and to share our very happy memories here from the past ten years, we hope you will join us during the month of March to see a selection of 18 paintings by Theresa Musoke that are previously unseen.

Circle is preparing an inventory of Theresa Musoke’s works throughout her career and we thought you might like to view some of these works, darting from the 1980s – 2020s as we continue to document her collection.

Theresa Musoke considers herself a semi-abstract painter and is best known for her expressive portrayals of East Africa’s abundant wildlife. Using a range of mediums to develop her imagery, her technique involves randomly dying cotton canvases and allowing the suggestive nature of the dye to guide her painting into evocative forms of animals and landscapes. Musoke first began to receive attention at the Margaret Trowell School of Fine Arts at Makerere university in 1963 in Kampala. A true pioneer she was the first female artist to obtain a degree there. She went on to graduate and win the painting prize in 1965 and then obtained a scholarship to study for a postgraduate diploma in printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London from 1965 – 67. Musoke’s approach to painting brings together the precision of drawing – her fine draughtsmanship is evident in her drawings in ink and watercolour on paper – with a looser painterly style.
Musoke has been a highly influential figure in Kenyan and Ugandan art, not only for her celebrated visual practice but also as a teacher. After completing her studies, Musoke won a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation to for further studies at the University of Pennsylvania, she then returned to Kampala where she taught at Makerere University, before relocation to Nairobi in 1976. She lived in Kenya for over 20 years and taught at different institutions including the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University. Throughout this time Musoke exhibited frequently in local galleries such as Paa Ya Paa, Gallery Watatu and the African Heritage House. Most recently her work was featured in the travelling group show Mwili Akili na Roho, at the Royal Academy of Art, London and Haus Der Kunst, Munich and a retrospective group show at Circle Art Gallery with Tabitha wa Thuku and Yony Waite. Musoke has dedicated her life to making art and is still a prolific creator at age 79.