I am thrilled that my painting 'Ludigo,The best is yet to come' was selected for this year's Summer exhibition at the RA. 13th June-20th August.
The portrait is of Ugandan artist and social activist, Andrew Ludigo Salema whom my family and I met on a trip to Uganda in 2009. We were there to build a class room at a school run by the Watoto charity and Andrew was our chaperone.
I have followed his journey over the last eight years, a journey that has seen him expand his vision for using art as a tool for social change amongst the poorest, most vulnerable and underprivileged in Ugandan society.
Having gained himself a place on the prestigious 'Mandela Washington fellowship for young African Leaders' in America and received valuable training in business and entrepreneurial skills, Ludigo is even more determined than ever to see his dream of a community arts centre come to fruition.
Life is hard in Kampala, Uganda. Money is not easy to come by, corruption is rife and any small steps forward are often countered with several steps back. Ludigo remains hopeful and focussed on his vision regardless!
Last year Ludigo came to visit us in the UK at the invitation of Charterhouse School to come and address the pupils. It was on this visit that I decided to paint his portrait.
"The best is yet to come" has always been a favourite catch phrase of his.
The chequered backdrop is African fabric that he brought as a gift for us.
In this portrait, I hope to have caught his hope, determination and sometimes despair.