“Art when used well is a powerful , creative force that can change how we see ourselves,the world around us and how we respond to the challenges life throws at us.”
Art has been with us for millenia,for as long as we have had human beings on earth ,we have had art and an appreciation of art is a skill that is as a result of exposure.
The art scene in Nairobi has become very vibrant and this activity is what is attracting global attention to the city’s art scene.This vibrancy has been fuelled by a burgeoning and educated middle class as well as the high number of expatriates who live in the city who have beome very appreciative of the talent that resides in the city and its environs.
With no distinct home-grown art event ,the pop up trend has created an opportunity for artists to showcase their work to an appreciative local and international audience .
dusitD2 has filled this lack of a home-grown art event with the pop art gallery exhibition held at its upmarket location on 14,Riverside Drive.
The art exhibition held every last Saturday of the month has a children’s corner which runs concurrently with the exhibition and is a partnership with Capital Kids club and offers an opportunity for children to get art lessons while parents enjoy the art work from very talented artists.
Kenyans are not avid consumers of art and through this collaboration with Google Kenya ,dusitD2 is offering Kenyan artists the space to exhibit and sell their art as well as promoting an appreciation of art which offers an opportuity for artists to earn a living through the sale of their work.
On this particular Saturday the artists whose works were on display were:
- Ssegujja Godfrey
- Victor Binge
- Katanu Kay
- Ronnie Tindi
- Jak Katarikawe
- Sam Githui
- Louis Chvetsova
I was very taken by the work of Katanu Kay which incorporated Kitenge fabric ,of particular interest to me was her work Euphoria 2 . We stood in front of that painting talking about art , what inspires her and in that half hour I forgot she was just 1 month shy of her 20th birthday and that she had been exhibiting for just 2 years and a month . Thanks to the exhibition,which attended last year for the first time, her work had found its way to art collectors in South Arica,Nigeria,the US and Australia.
Euphoria 2 is as a result of a meeting with a lady who after seeing her work on Euphoria 1 asked for an exact copy of that particular piece.Katanu ,however does not do replicas of her work and asked if she could do something different ,the client agreed and the result is Euphoria 2.The two pieces ,Euphoria 1 & 2 are inspired by the same thing ,a celebration of Katana’s African heritage and culture. It is her desire that through her work people take every opportunity to embrace being African and to celebrate it.
She is a graduate of the BTEC Art and Design program at Brook House school and is headed to SCAD where she will be pursuing her studies in Fine Art & Interior Design which she wants to pursue up to PhD level.
Art for Katanu is a channel that she uses to express herself , her ideas and it is a platform to share these ideas with the world.She would love that through her art people are able to ask questions,explore ideas and think outside the box of what society terms as the norm and that through this we develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other.
It is why she took the very unusual route of incorporating African fabric in her art work – which I thought was such a great conversation starter on her work and what inspires her.
When it was time for me to leave ,I found myself on the terrace of the Soko restaurant thinking about what an amazing point in time it was to be alive,to hear artists like Katana talk about her hope to have her work exhibited at the New York Art Gallery .
Thanks to dusitD2, this is not the last we have heard of this young lady and all the other equally talented artists who have found a space to exhibit their art work as well given an opportunity for Nairobi residents to enjoy local art.Before leaving,I made a quick trip back to the exhibition to have one last look and some pieces had already been marked as sold and set aside which only goes to emphasise the quality of the work on display.
Look out for the next edition of the Pop Art Gallery on the last Saturday of this coming month of February and get ready to sample great art and food .
See you there!