UPDATE 14th November 2019
For fun I’ve mixed up the artwork from the children at Nissi Rephidim Care and from famous and celebrated artists with some explanations of the style of art and history. See if you prefer the “masters” of the style or the childrens’ fresh approach!
Non Objective Artwork
Lots of us may have been lucky enough to have drawn a swirly-wirly line on a piece of paper and then filled in all the created shapes with different colours or different patterns. For a particular age bracket, who remembers using the computer program Paint to fill in the spaces! Believe it or not, this particular style of art has a name: Non Objective Art. This style of art was popularised by Lawyer turned Artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). However the first artist to name this style was another Russian, Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko.
At first glance it’s easy to say, these are all abstract pieces however there is a difference. I was curious what makes Abstract Art different from Non-Objective Art? After a bit of research I’ve learnt the difference comes from what inspired the piece. If the piece is inspired by (a) reality then the artwork is abstract. If the piece is without recognisable forms and created “out side” of (a) reality then it is non-objective. If you would like more information about Non Objective Art have a look here.
Abstract Expressionist / Action Painting
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) an artist who died in a car accident from drink driving aged just 44, was famous for bringing the abstract expressionist movement to the forefront of art history, sensationally taking the spotlight away from France and placing it firmly on America, particularly New York.
Action Painting typically is spontaneous in creation: unplanned drips, splashes, pours, dribbles and daubes of paint form energetic, passionate and emotionally charged paintings.
It is often commented that these styles of paintings are easy to create, I would have to agree that they are. However, after studying the way that Pollock created Blue Poles Number 11, there seems to be some method in the madness. Creating a balanced composition, an all over approach and a random style is much harder than you think.
For example, the eyes with the brain love to recognise patterns. It’s part of the problem solving/creative function of our brains. Sometimes the brain creates a pattern where there isn’t one: I call these coincidences. Making a visual piece of art that has no pattern for the brain to follow is extremely difficult as the brain is often able to create a pattern out of nothing. The best action paintings, or abstract impressionist paintings are the ones I feel captivate and keep the viewer looking for a a pattern, without giving them one.
Art from memory
David Hockney (1937- present) an iconic British Artist has been quoted as saying “We see with memory”. I’ve spent a couple of days thinking about how memory affects our perception of our surroundings.
A piece of art drawn from memory will always be a perception of a moment which has passed. Our emotions will have evolved over the period of time that passed in between the event and the time the piece of art was made. Hard feelings soften or fears and concerns grow depending on the person. Also memory is one of our worst recordings of what happened as it’s always tainted with our perceptions of morality and personal bias.
This is much like how I believe that every portrait is part self portrait. I’ve been lucky enough to have posed for art classes and I’ve always seen a striking difference in the way people have drawn my face or my body, often I can see a similarity with their own faces and bodies in the sketches or paintings.
A piece of art created by a person, even when focused on a subject outside of themselves is still a mix of energy between the subject and the artists. This blend is what creates a particular style. Many artists are recognisable by their style; I imagine this is the input of their energy into their depiction of the subject.
One of my most favourite places in the world is Whitby Abby in North Yorkshire, England. Here are a few paintings showing the same or similar view, the difference in atmosphere will come not only from different types of weather but the different memories and perception the artist has of the area.
Out of curiosity here is an article from Harvard Medical School about how to preserve and improve your memory as you age.
I imagine the children at Nissi Rephidim Care have drawn scenes from their lives, with bright colours and happy memories. These children are vulnerable, no family to speak of and only the care and support of Daniel and his team. I find it incredible these children can laugh and smile, draw images of a scene in the street and their schools where they play games and with footballs. It’s clear to me that Daniel is doing whatever he can to create happy memories for these children.
UPDATE 4th November 2019
More to report! After more conversations with Daniel we are keen to put together a trip to visit the children in 2020. You can find a few more details on the MeetUp group here.
The artwork created by the children is for sale, prices vary and shipping prices are to be confirmed. When I visit I will be bringing pieces back in my luggage so perhaps with a bit of patience you could have a piece by June 2020!
In the meanwhile have a look at their most current portfolio of information:
First Published October 21st 2019
Exhibiting artwork from the Children of Nissi Rephidim Care
To support and care for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children throughout their spiritual, emotional, social and physical lives through strategic partnerships.Nissi Rephidim Care Mission Statement
I first heard about Nissi Rephidim Care through a friend. We were organising a meditation MeetUp group in Madrid and thinking about plans for the future. My friend told me about a friend of hers that had been travelling around Africa and had visited Nissi Rephidim Care.
The organisation has plans to build a Vipawa Children’s Art Museum for the art works the children create with Kids Art Creations Program.
Of course at first I just wanted to book my flight and go and see the place for myself, however as always I didn’t want to travel on my own.
I will be organising a MeetUp group for June 2020 which will allow you to come with me so I have company and you can see the good work with your own eyes. Join the Amazing Art Society here and the event here.
Founded in October 2012 as a Community Based Organisation, Nissi Rephidim Care in 2015 became an NGO. The organisation has a great way of showing what they are doing and how they progress.
I liked their page on Facebook and within a day or two Daniel Atwenda sent me a message to say “Aliya thanks for the like and for reading and believing in us. It’s a pleasure …”
Here are a few screen shots of our conversation as it flowed:
For you skeptics, below is the Registration Document for Nissi Rephidim Care as a NGO in Uganda.
Daniel has a plan and is doing what he can with the help of volunteers to realise it for the children. Reading what inspired him, it’s easy to want to help the cause:
Nissi Rephidim Care merged out of a deep desire from the heart of Daniel Atwenda who encountered with God speaking to him, a situation where innocent street children were being beaten on the streets of Jinja for begging in 2005 and that’s how God spoke to his heart to be the change these young lives need and share God’s love, through giving and acceptance.Daniel Atwenda
As I read through the pages of work that has already been accomplished by Daniel I’m amazed. I’m not particularly religious, it’s difficult for me to pick one or any religion as an answer to my problems. “How can there be a God that allows all the darkness to persist?” However I am so grateful that people like him and his associates can create such wonderful projects, led with such power.
What I believe is that only some people, led by whatever higher power or inner pain, can choose to do things that help others.
I applaud Daniel for taking action on what he feels is his purpose: protecting, enabling and creating a better world for the children in his care.
Can you say you have created something with better purpose?
What happens next and how you can help.
I want to help Daniel because I have felt orphaned/abandoned in the past by family, friends, coworkers and society. This approach of enabling children through their creative talents in art resonates so hard with me that I feel like a part of me is already in Uganda right now and I need to go there to get it back. Maybe it’s my heart wanting children so much, or the desire to see how a broken family can function, or to see how people like Daniel continue to support so many when it seems as if they have so little.
As an example of first world problems manifested, all I want is to be useful somewhere so why not assist an Art Museum for Orphaned Children in Jinja Uganda?
If you want to join me when I visit in June 2020 Join the MeetUp event here.
If you want to buy a piece of artwork send me a message and I will add you to the waiting list, as soon as I have a selection of pieces available for dispatch I will email you the pictures and prices for you to choose from: email@example.com
If you want to donate directly to Nissi Rephidim Care you can transfer money directly into their Charity Bank Account using these details:
- Account Name: Nissi Rephidim Care
- Account number: 6005038047
- Bank: Barclay’s Bank of Uganda
You can find lots of information about Nissi Rehidim Care on their Facebook page here. They have had over 3,200 checkins!
There is also a YouTube channel here where you can see a few videos of the children here.
Randomly this health and beauty website has more information about Nissi Rephidim Care here.
A message from Nissi Rephidim Care:
Nissi Rephidim Care invites you to partake with us in the Vipawa Children’s Art Museum Project (VCAM) Land fundraising campaign. The project aims at bringing children’s art to life, securing a rich heritage for African Communities.
Our goal is to raise 200 million Uganda shillings an equivalent to USD $55555.55 for securing 4 acres by the lakeside on which the museum structure will be constructed. Here is an artistic impression of a woodcarving prototype of it.
To contribute to VCAM project land of NRC, you can deposit money directly on our account.
Ac/ Name: Nissi Rephidim Care
Ac/ No: 6005038047 Barclays Bank
For mobile money you can send a contribution to +256757204552 /+256783856775 under the name of Daniel Atwenda.
You can also contribute by visiting our offices on
Plot 7, Wilson Avenue, Jinja.
We encourage you to continue to pray, participate, provide, recommend, and mobilise partners for this great work of giving children’s talents a home to explore, practice, learn, preserve children’s abilities, and build talent.
Visit and read from us at www.nissirephidimcare.org and like share our facebook.com/nissirephidimcare
To support and care for Orphans and other Vulnerable Children throughout their spiritual, physical, social and emotional lives through strategic partnerships.
Choose to learn about the world.
Choose to help.
Enjoy the good you did.