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Bubacarr Saho: Abstract Painting means Freedom

My Magazine 2023/04
6 min
We know him for his environmental efforts in Gunjur. But not so long ago, we discovered, he is also a very talented artist with a big passion for abstract painting. Before the Covid era began, he had some of his paintings exhibited in one of the shops in Cape Point craft market, yet now he has his own artistic piece of heaven in his home in Gunjur, where it serves as an art gallery, showcasing his arts masterpieces.

Bubacarr was born in Gunjur Kombo South District. He was raised in Bakau, where he did his schooling and finished a tertiary level of education. He discovered his talent in arts at a very tender age by been good at crafts and drawing. His creativity was pouring out of him, and as a young child, he was making his own toys like model cars, boats, houses. He even made a tv set and played puppets for friends on screen, creating puppet theatre cartoons. Recently, he moved back to Gunjur, his home town, where he does paint, architecture and carpenter work.

Bakau, where he lived most of his life, is one of the fishing towns and well-known tourist industrial places. The environment offered many chances to notice art expression, either on pieces of clothes, mostly sold to the visitors and in the shape of paintings on local canoes. Arts has always been noticed around him, either in his home or school, where he would be asked to draw on the blackboard for the whole class or help with the preparation of learning aids. Teachers saw his gift in good drawing ability.

Today, his painting style is abstract. He uses oil and acrylic paint which he mixes with any usable material to create different textures for his canvas. He is trying to capture motives from daily life but lets people interpret his art pieces in their own way since this is the added value of abstract art.

“To me, the abstract is like self-employment. Or you may call it freedom as you felt in control with no rules, which is uniquely awesome.”

Art has always been part of his life before he even realized he could earn from it. His masterpieces have been sold to many visitors of The Gambia, now being hung in many different countries, such as Norway, UK, Denmark. He aspires to use his talent and contribute to the promotion of Gambian arts and encourage it to be appreciated globally. But arts in the Gambia are not being recognized enough. It is tough to depend on it as a sole source of income.

Bubacarr shares: “I had a very talented Gambian artist brother who inspired me into painting on canvas. We established Njahas Arts, and he is now the sole proprietor, doing amazing masterpieces, but I don’t think he is valued enough compared to his amazing works. And many other great Gambian painters like him as well.”

He feels that art has to live on and inspire the younger generation. This is one of his goals, and he is willing to share his knowledge through workshops and classes with anybody interested. His wish for the future is to have a successful Jungle Art gallery and create many employment opportunities for the population.

“Everyone is gifted with some talent. Appreciate your gifted talent by using it to make a positive impact. But if my message to the world should be one word … peace!”

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