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Birungi Kawooya

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Art Inspired by Black Women

Shop the Afro-portrait, dance and nature-themed collections or commission me to make an original work of art.

Birungi Kawooya is a collage artist and teacher inspired by nature, the beauty of Black womxn 

and the ingenuity of dance from the African diaspora using batik, paper and paint.

Her portraits celebrate Black womxnhood, elevating rest, joy and wellbeing. Nostalgia and 

family also inform her practice, from memories of kitchen discos with her siblings and Kiganda 

dancers at weddings.

She creates art she wants to see more of in the world and therefore her primary theme is 

depicting Black womxn, usually with flawless jet-Black skin. Birungi seeks to elevate Black 

womxn so that they can see themselves as works of art and gain self-esteem. In 2020 she 

reflected on how Black womxn are pivotal in leading social justice movements and decided to 

focus on compelling Black womxn to protect their dream space with the “Sisters Need Sleep” 

collection. The collection celebrates Black womxn resting and taking care of themselves. By 

prioritising self-care, the figures in “Sisters Need Sleep” resist the forces of domination in 

themselves and to contribute to a more equitable society for all.

Birungi’s art explores movement through paper silhouettes illuminated by Ugandan batik textiles which connect the dance pieces to her heritage. Endlessly inspired by dancers, Birungi 

aspires to translate the motion, skill and soul of dance from the African diaspora into 2-

dimensional pieces. Dance styles include traditional Ugandan dances, Afro-Brasilian samba and 

African-American Hiplet.

Her work is often infused with lush plant life such as tropical flowers and matooke (banana) 

trees which are common in Uganda and are referenced in the Josephine Baker collection. 

She leads Mindful African art classes and creates space for well-being of school children, young 

people, artists and beginners to express themselves using vibrant African textiles. With a focus 

on promoting mental well-being, Birungi is a mission to create relaxing environments which

people work through anxiety, stimulate their imagination and connect to vibrant African textile 


Birungi has led online and in-person art.

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