Richard Atugonza is a portrait sculptor who graduated from Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Arts in 2019. His current body of work encompasses a selection of portraits depicting people in his life whom he sculpts in ubiquitous materials such as sew dust, dried grass, and charcoal – waste materials found within his environment. He sees his practice as an extension of a recycling line.
Atugonza captures proportion, body movement, and posture as a mirror to reflect people’s emotions and how they behave in the community. The subject matter and materiality fuses people and environments in forms that appear brittle – which, however, become durable through transformation of the material. A main component of the process is the interaction between artist and model. Atugonza carefully chooses his models and establishes an atmosphere in which he is able to connect with his subjects on a deeper level.