Sanaa Gateja is a multi-disciplinary artist who studied as a goldsmith in London, and whose works are a combination of installation, tapestry, and sculpture. Heavily influenced by the potters, blacksmiths, and basket weavers in the village he grew up in, Sanaa is a self-taught visual artist. Sanaa creates intricate works which reference indigenous art practices like weaving and stitching. His work is textured as a metaphor for the different personal and societal experiences; present and past.
A social commentator, Sanaa works with bark cloth, paper raffia, beads, wood, and banana fibre to construct these large textured artworks that respond to the subject of nature and materiality. His art fits appropriately within the global consciousness of contemporary times that highly regards the environment and its preservation, as his work ethic involves working with organic and synthetic material. The paper bead, which he’s mostly known for, and introduced in Uganda in 1990, not only responds to the subject of recycling, but offers sustainable income to local women, as they are created in collaboration with rural women cooperatives in Uganda. Sanaa’s works has been showcased both locally and internationally, some of which include Collect 2020 (2020), CONTEXT Art Miami (2019), 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair (2019), FNB Johannesburg Art Fair (2016, 2017, 2018), AKAA Art Fair, Paris (2016, 2017, 2018) and ART X Lagos (2018, 2019).