Museum pulls off first ever female-only online exhibition

Tuesday May 26 2020


Christiane Rwagatare's Embroidery on Canvas works. PHOTO | ANDREW. I KAZIBWE 

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Just like tourism and art has been hit by the lockdown due to the global Covid-19 crisis.

But, it is weaving ways to stay above the water by keeping audiences in online space.

In this regard, the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda hosted its first virtual exhibition: Messages of Rwanda Women Artists; Each for Equal, from May 18 cra ed by female visual artists.

They livestreamed the launch, which featured a tour around the artworks in presence of some of the exhibitors.

Bringing together over 35 artists, and hosted by the Rwanda Art Museum in Kanombe, it has rich diversity through the eyes of female artists.

Most are paintings of acrylics on canvas adorning the walls of the museum’s lower floor.


The collection of realism and semi-abstract paintings has messages revolving around the African girl child and woman.

This is expressed through various painting styles and other craft, love for embroidery by the African woman as queen and central pillar of society.

L’Amour d’une Mère, is a water colour of a mother carrying her baby on her back. Féline Mutabangana’s semi abstract acrylics dubbed Half-moon depicts the irreplaceable woman.

Tabaro Poupoute’s abstract cra takes one into a unique sphere of beauty. The artist entwines real and imaginary images into a beautiful piece.

Neza Shemsa’s collection speaks of women’s advocacy and empowerment. Her semi-abstract images are of women living free of life’s shackles that have for long bound them. Her message is shared by Crista Uwase, whose collages, crafted from recycled paper on canvas tell the powerful story of African woman.

Ilibagiza Bayijahe Nyirankuriza too is another young artist emerging for her use of paper collage for women advocacy. Her piece titled Umurage w’ibihangange Twogeza depicts her stand as a feminist in strong advocacy for women.

Varied themes

Christiane Rwagatare’s embroidery is one to reckon with and on varied themes. For instance, he Umushyikirano W’abanyarwanda (The Rwandan Dialogue) well depicts the ancient custom of community meetings and gathering, which has today been adopted, even within governance.

There are others like Jeanne Mukankuranga’s spherical sisal wall craft, Bora Sylvie’s abstract mix media craft, other local and artists from the diaspora like Feline Mutangana from the US, Poupoute Tabaro (Kenya), Chancelle Digata from the DR Congo and France’s Pascale Bourges.