This is the first edition of Six With in 2017; a feature that seeks to ask through you and our moderators six industry important questions. These questions go to artists, industry persons and even you our community inform of an interview. We got in touch with Sparrow a graffiti writer to share with us his journey, Graffiti and this weekend’s plot 4th February: Mural Painting at Namuwongo Street.
You have probarbly seen his work or his signature sparrow somewhere along Kampala road! Lets dive in below:
1. Hello, Mr. Sparrow, Briefly tell us about who you are for those who don’t know you and the name Sparrow?
I am sparrow. Am a graffiti/street artist and a photographer ,hip hop teacher ,based in Uganda and I represent Break dance project Uganda ,Monk256, Builderslane, Uganda Graffiti Bench , DSB crew, and the graffiti movement in Uganda
2. How long have you done graffiti work and what’s your inspiration, why this element of hip hop?
I have been doing graffiti and teaching for 6 years now , Break Dance Project Uganda ( BPU) is where I started learning graffiti with the help of other writers/artists like Kibuuka Mukisa Oscar, the brother who introduced me to the graffiti world and other artists like Mos Opten , Jobray writer and others during the graffiti classes that where held by BPU in kasanga
I get my inspiration from many things but basically hip hop culture has been inspiring me in my life especially.
I choose [chose] this element because I felt that I easily connect to it and the fact that I loved art since when I was young and I loved graffiti because most of the people in my country didn’t know much about so…. I decided to practice and teach others; so that it can be spread and appreciated in Uganda.
3. Now this weekend there is an event you are spear heading; Mural Painting, what is it really about, in other words give us details of this event and the Graffiti Bench?
Muraling [referring to Mural painting] is an a idea that was brought up by different street/graffiti artists in Uganda in way that; every artist is given an opportunity to paint in his own style, in a collective way with other artists, but we get a concept that we work on as a team. We are doing it in a way to give back to the community through beautification and sharing with different communities ,so we be painting different hoods.
Graffiti bench is a word in the hip hop/graffiti culture that was used to mean collection of writers that come together to share skills ,sketches ,painting . So as UG graffiti Bench, we are also trying our level best to share with other people about graffiti!
4. What should we expect?
Expectations! Really, since this is our first time to do this in Uganda we are expecting; to share skills with the community ,produce nice artwork for the community, connect with the community and have fun
5. Do you think Graffiti as an element of hip hop gets the attention it deserves; putting in mind the misconstrued view on graff writing?
About the attention, I would say graffiti is getting the attention here because I and other have been painting on different shows , hoods , places , but [and] the community always they take time look, at the work , ask questions. They ask if I can paint their houses, offices etc, others ask where I learnt this and they want to learn it. So in Uganda to me, people are much interested in graffiti as a hip hop element and they are giving it attention.
6. Well, before we end it here, where can one find your work and anyone interested in graffiti what’s your word to them?
To those who want to see my work you can find it on walls in Kampala city in areas like kabalanga ,kibuil, zana,and other many areas in
Kampala , Jinja, Mbarara, Gulu town, Mityana, Kigali, Nairobi. To those who are interested in graffiti can always pass by the BPU Sessions at Sharing Centre in Nsambya, we hold monthly graffiti exhibitions on the first Wednesday of the month and you can also like our pages on Facebook: Graffiti Uganda , Monk256, Sparrow Uganda.
let’s keep on painting .
I would love send out my shout out to Krink paints in NY, Never normal, Bpu, Builders lane, TandikaEssawa,The mighty Monk256, UG writers peace to you all.