Let's talk about marriage

Tuesday May 25 2021

A collection of artworks of Isaac Irumva, which he uses to tell the story of marriage. PHOTO | INDREW I. KAZIBWE


For many marriage has been portrayed by jolly light moments crowned by weddings.However, increasing number of divorce cases is worrying what marriage means to current generation.

Isaac Irumva is a rising local artist who holds unique toning of works, but with a sense of humour to them.

His Oil painting tactics brings to the fore humour as a rare interesting aspect of marriage. Making way to Indiba Art Space, a facility located at Kimihurura, a suburb in Kigali, one is introduced to a vast collection of paintings sharing uniformity in the cra­ft. You can’t help but notice how each sail through the display sparks a warm smile or laughter. Dubbed "marriage and humour," the artist uses his brush to bring to liveliness the light side in marriage.

The exhibition, which holds over 15 paintings on display, is a sail through the relationship between marriage and humour, which well resonates with the public. With a fl awlessly mild colouration in colour use, unlike his previous exhibitions, where he has worked with Acrylics paints, the artist entirely uses oil paints for this collection.

Typical about Irumva’s paintings is a shared resemblance of human images. These are couples, reflective of the married and light times that arise from their living. Just as his painting style is of placing more focus on the expressive images, the artist further prevails here through his semi-abstract satirical craft­ to rely upon the messages.

For instance, one of his paintings dubbed "date night" depicts a shy couple closure to each other. This is reflective of the somber mood that most couples reflect when out on dates. "Bad dancers" is reflective of a couple holding hands while dancing.


This definitely sparks one’s memory of how such a couple would be, or recall an odd couple with weird dance moves.

The artist also depicts intimacy among couples. For instance, the 129cm by 80cm painting entitled "the kiss" is of a couple kissing, but the womenwears a curious eyesight, "rendezvous" is of a couple sleeping closely in bed, while "not tonight honey, I’m tired’"is reflective of not at share moment in intimacy.

Irumva, however, takes his audience into another side of what solitude in marriage could look like. Paintings like Single Lady 1,2,3 and 4 are each of individual ladies sited alone, but each holding a glass with a drink in it. This is typical among most marriages where wives are ignored, and left behind, as their husbands are into other commitments.

This leaves most lost, at a crossroads, and depressed, where drinking and alcohol addiction is a viable option for them.

The self-made 23-year-old artist, whose career kicked off in 2013, has gradually evolved first through his brush works, which uniquely relay a message through his provocative, satirical, and warm images inspired through social collectives, cultural dialogues from society.

Irumva’s showcases have spanned since 2018, where he first exhibited at Autour De Moi Rwanda, Afringali Street Art Festival (2019), Female Artistic Maturity (2020) and Zoe Rwanda (2020).

His works have featured at international platforms like; Artja International Art Biennial, Sebia(2020), Novembre Numerique, Rwanda(2020), Hamwe Festival Rwanda (2020) and at the Diaspora Call Exhibition in Germany and USA (2020).