Tuesday, 31 July 2018

'WHY WE LOVE KENYA’ AS TOLD THROUGH VISUAL ART

                                                                       Kilifi by the Indian Ocean by Nayianoi Sitonik

BY Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted 31 July 2018)

‘Why I love Kenya’ Is a visual art exhibition that opened last weekend July 29th at Polka Dot Gallery in Karen.
                                                                                             By Coster Ojwang

The show includes artworks by a dozen Kenyan artists, including Yony Waite, Wilson Matunda, Patrick Kinuthia, Nayianoi Sitonik, Leah Njenga, Kennedy Kinyua, Elias Mong’ora, David Roberts, Damba Ismaeli, Caroline Mbirua, Coster Ojwang and Anne Mwiti.
Most of the artworks were landscapes, colorfully amplifying the brilliant natural beauty of the countryside. Most were filled with multiple shades of green that was splashed across lots of rolling hills. Such are the paintings of Patrick Kinuthia, Coster Ojwang and Caroline Mbirua. A few captured hues of Kenyan waterways like Lake Naivasha (Leah Njenga), Lake Baringo (David Roberts) and the Indian Ocean (Nayianoi Sitonik). Meanwhile, Yony Waite paints Athi Plains using shades of black and white and a bit of ochre brown.
                                                                                              By Kennedy Kinyua

All that beauty clearly revealed why many people love Kenya. But then a few of the paintings display other dimensions of the country’s city life. For instance, Wilson Matunda’s ‘Players’ are deeply engrossed in playing checkers (be it in an informal or a gated community) while Elias Mong’ora’s  and Damba Ismaeli’s Boda Boda (motorcycle taxi) drivers expose the fact that many urbanites (including myself) appreciate the convenient transportation that the boda bodas provide. Nayianoi’s tuk tuk offers the same sort of aid to us who don’t want to endure Kenyan traffic behind a wheel of our own.
                                                                                               By Yony Waite

But it’s Kennedy Kinyua’s congested yet colorful rural bus stage that displays a totally other side of Kenya that is to be loved. For not everyone can afford to enjoy the game parks and scenic sides of the country since we are working to put bread on the table and pay our children’s school fees. Such workers can also see the beauty of Kenyan daily life in the fellowship we find rubbing shoulders side by side our friends and strangers.  

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