Ronald Odur – Winner of the MMA Prize 2020
Born in 1992, Ronald Odur is a multi-media artist in Uganda. He mostly works with aluminium plates, which he manipulates by embossing, burning, stitching, creasing and adding wire, paper and other objects. His work and ideas then reveal themselves as sculpture, installation, drawing and performance.
His connection to aluminium, which is his primary resource, started in his early days as a child growing up in Kampala, when he would collect aluminium scrap to sell to local scrap dealers in a quest to earn money to buy toys. What started as ‘scrap material’ later provided him a platform for self-expression, as his search for affordable material to use for his art brought him back to the same material.
On his 2020 winning artwork:
“The title ‘Ebya kayisaali’ is translated from Luganda as what belongs to Caesar. This work was inspired by the unfair introduction of social media tax in Uganda and the banning of some music from playing on radio and television. All this I represented in this work in four pieces; a radio, ripped cassette tape to signify the banned music, money and a newspaper of stitched aluminum printing plate with copper wires. This piece of composition is a representation of societal objects and unfair taxation levied on Ugandans in the move to infringe on the freedom of expression and speech.’ Ronald Odur