All photos in this Gallery are courtesy of Emanuela Mantegazza.
The exhibit was beautifully curated by RoBinah Nansubuga, a professional Ugandan curator with vast experience and immense talent, who successfully negotiated all the strong, creative personalities involved in the exhibit.
A novice as a participant at such events, I was curious as to how the transition between my photos and Taga’s art would flow. Once I observed RoBinah at work thoughtfully positioning the various art pieces, all anxiety vanished.
‘Elysian Fields’ A favorite image of mine, made in springtime in Ngorongoro Crater when the entire crater floor was covered in wildflowers
The ‘stars’ of the show: Taga Nuwagaba, esteemed Ugandan wildlife artist, and Barbara Hollweg, American wildlife photographer
Taga’s interpretation in oil (left) of my photographic image of Ngamba chimp Kikyo titled ‘Poetry in Motion’ (right)
Taga and I visiting with some of the guests at the opening evening reception
Left to right: Doreen and Taga Nuwagaba, Lilly Ajarova (Executive Director of Chimpanzee Trust), Barbara and Lewis Hollweg
One of the highlights of the exhibit for me was seeing friends I have made over the years in Uganda. My heartfelt joy is evident here as I greet Phillip Kihumuro, a former employee of Chimpanzee Trust who facilitated my meeting with and photography of the tribal King of Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom several years prior.
Lewis and I were requested to dress in traditional Ugandan formal attire for the exhibit opening festivities. My colorful floral long satin gown is called a gomesi. At first glance deceptively simple looking, the dress is amazingly intricate and required a ‘dresser’ to fashion it around me and teach me how to walk in it! Lewis’ long silk tunic, which has beautiful hand-sewn elaborate embroidery around the neck, down the front, and on the sleeve, is called a kanzu.
In this photo, I am reunited with another long-time friend from the Ngamba Island Sanctuary, Dr. Fred Nizeyimana, who is currently one of the Gorilla Doctors veterinarians caring for the wild gorillas in Uganda, Rwanda, & DRC.
Attending the opening evening was the German Ambassador to Uganda. After the exhibit closed in Kampala, it was moved to the Ambassador’s personal home outside the city where the art works were displayed during a private evening of art and music.
During the evening, Lewis and I were asked to walk the red carpet: there was literally a red carpet laid out leading to an area with bright lights, a red coat clad reporter holding a microphone, and a bevy of squatting professional photographers who nearly blinded us with their rapidly flashing strobes! I was at a complete loss for words when the reporter asked me, among other questions, to name my favorite designer: who am I, where am I, I wondered in a daze! I still chuckle as I think of that scene: blinded by the paparazzi’s lights, walking the red carpet in Kampala, Uganda – who could possibly imagine?
At the close of the exhibition, all who participated, including the important behind-the-scenes crew, gathered for a final group photo