The Sculpture Gallery is located an hour’s drive away from Volcanoes Kyambura Gorge Lodge, at the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains in a stunning architect-designed building overlooking the Mobuku valley. The project currently has some impressive sponsors, including the Tate Gallery in London, the Royal Academy as well as artistic giant Damien Hirst, who donated a sculpture that sold for £313,250 to help with construction costs.
A competition was won in 2009 by London firm Cullum and Nightingale to design and build central Africa’s first foundry for casting bronze. The building is now complete and is beginning to open for business, attracting visitors from Uganda, Africa and beyond. The building itself is shaped like an upturned galleon and sits with panoramic views around the Rift Valley. The roof is metal, made from oil drums that have been beaten flat and there is a keel-like beam from which sculptures can be moved about on rails.
The foundry was commissioned by the Rwenzori Sculpture Foundation, a British charity that works to improve the quality of sculpture in Uganda and Africa in general. Rungwe Kingdon runs the largest foundry of its kind in Europe as well as a Cotswolds factory, Pangolin, and is the main force behind the project. He grew up in Uganda and remembers fondly his time making art there. Now that he has found success with Pangolin, he wants to give something back to the country. With the Rwenzori Sculpture Foundation, he hopes to create a group of world-class African sculptors.
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