Jackie the Third (Jackie III) In The Case of Books an ongoing performance work is based around the communal ritual of dusting, cleaning and arranging library books. A key part of the performance is around the conversations that happen on the anatomy of knowledge, place of books, relevance of libraries, and the myths and rituals within participating individuals and the organisation or institution. Please see here.

  •  Installation at The Goethe Institute Nairobi in a solo show titled Where Books Go To Die
  • These images below are screenshots of that installation from videos by Mark Kiarie and David Githonga

Cyrus Ng’anga Kabiru –  TED Fellow 

  • These sculptures are situated in the bounderies of performance, wearable sculpture and commodity objects
  • Artist Cyrus Kabiru constructs narratives through photography, sculpture and rumour – each set of glasses has its own story – its own title.
  • Collaborations with: TED, Tuska Beer, Guinness, Milan Fashion week, and curators in London, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Bilbao, Barcelona, Nairobi and Kampala. Kabiru’s recognisable unique work has been re-produced on the internet, it is not an exaggeration to say, millions of times.
  •  What is rarely described, but is actually the most fascinating part of these artworks, are the titles of each of these glasses. Each of these has a unique narrative, yet are rarely referenced on Instagram, news stories or video interviews.
    • The series on prisons; ‘Haiti’ (the most overcrowded prison in the world); ‘Madiba’ (concerning Mandela’s detention on Robben Island); ‘Manyishi Wundanyi’, (where Kabiru’s grandfather was imprisoned as a Mau Mau ‘rebel fighter’, now re-termed ‘freedom fighter’, as part of the recognition that Kenya, as a nation, has for the Mau Mau uprising during colonial times;
    • the series on African leaders; title such as Mugabe, or The Dictator;
    • Individual titles such as: Texas Windows, 2009; Yellow Fever, Chinese Train.

     

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Dennis Muraguri –  Handmade woodcut prints, acrylic paintings, mixed-media installations. PLS SEE TEXT BELOW FROM 2013 NEWSPAPER ARTICLE by Zihan Kassam

  • Socially engaged, urban subject of the Matatu that naturally brings up questions around power, street performance, economics…the list is endless.

(Photo credit Audience member viewing the installation during the exhibition ‘Matatu Games’ Wachira Mwangi)

Muraguri tells us about his fascination with matatu culture. He sees the positive, comical side. He describes the manamba (conductor) hanging off the matatu or dancing in the street as the matatu keeps moving only to jump back on the bus just in time to speed off. “It is street art,” he shares, “It’s unorchestrated, unchoreographed street theatre. You ask yourself why one matatu gets a passenger and another doesn’t, even if they charge less. It’s because they know how to flirt to get the attention. It’s all part of the business.” Muraguri discusses matatu laws; laws that are happily ignored. As he engages the guests, they sit together cozily surrounded by two mixed media-sculptures; two vibrant woodcut prints depicting matatus in all their crooked glory; three partially painted-over photographs of a red matatu with the word ‘Neocolonised’ sprayed across the back, and a giant painting that is mostly black and white with some bright colours for dramatic effect. The painting ‘Matatu 4 Governor’ portrays the manamba hanging out of a matatu, one arm raised high as if vying for presidency. The vehicle is decorated with a jumble of popular iconography which includes an image of Kenyatta International Conference Centre and State House. Your eye is drawn to the mandatory yellow band that is legally required of them. It must state starting point and the destination. Bold text along the bottom reads, “Manyanga. Music. Mischief & Mayhem.'” Alluding to the rigged elections Kenya is famous for, there is a big ballot box with a voting slip painted on the bottom right of the painting. “It’s all kind of self-explanatory,” says Muraguri. With a ‘Matatu 4 Governor’ slogan across the top it’s hard to miss the point; the matatu driver epitomizes Kenya in all its wonder and dysfunction. Muraguri’s art is meant to be provocative and humorous but it’s also highly intuitive. He portrays matatu men as relentless artists (decorate their vehicles despite the laws) and voyeurs (always on the road and know where the city is headed). He addresses the decay of Kenyan society and the tragedy of sleaze that permeates this town. A good conversation with Muraguri reveals that he is still cheeky but it’s definitely the good kind of mischief. The kind that makes us question the world around us, rather than just staying stagnant.

Text credit: http://allafrica.com/stories/201305291323.html Zihan Kassam

Video featuring Muraguri, (artist featured at 7min30).

More than eighteen workshop contributors and some hundred and fifty attendees made Pangaea Sculptors Centre’s ‘How did you do that? An Artistic Skillshare’ (4th-6th October, 2013)

Workshops and initiatives:

  • Micro blogging with the hashtag #ARCPSC (Artist Run Culture)
  • Photo-documenting 3D practice
  • Cold critique’ and ‘blind review’ as curators offered impressions on anonymised portfolios
  • Creating your own WordPress site
  • Writing workshop on personal/artistic statements
  • Precarious Workers Brigade discussed working conditions in the arts and the urgent need to take collectivised action to ensure that cultural production is more equitable accessible and accountable.
  • ‘How did you do that? The Nuts and Bolts of Ambitious Sculptural Projects’ Six sculptors discussed their projects.
  • A family-friendly zone for creating and playing with folded paper sculptures was the Sculpture Playhouse.

See full documentation with photos on Pangaea Sculptors Centre’s  Flickr page:  Here

(PSC _ Directors: Marsha Bradfield & Lucy Tomlins)

‘Oral History Archive’ (DV Video) (Final Cut Duration: 6min30), HTAP, 2009   From January to May 2009, HTAP produced ten video interviews with residents from the London Borough of Hackney. Produced as an Oral History Archive. The interviews show individuals, couples, friends and families reflecting on conflict and displacement and what it means to call Hackney ‘home’.

Oral History Archive - Joyce and Elsie
Video Still: Elsie Hows and Joyce Caroll both discuss their experience during the war and the in/flux of new communities in and through Hackney. Joyce Caroll talks about staying in Hackney throughout the Blitz.
Yashar Ismailioglu
Installation shot of the ‘Oral History Archive’ first shown at ‘in/flux’ exhibition 2009. Yaşar İsmailoğlu, Hackney resident and founder of the Turkish Cypriot fine art society describes immigrating to the UK during the Greek Cypriot war.

The oral history archive was produced and edited by Marsha Bradfield, Marnie Baumer, Evan Brindle, Miriam Kings, Slade Lamey and Lucy Tomlins. The final cut was edited by Miriam Kings and Marsha Bradfield. It includes interviews with Marnie Baumer; Vivi and Rod Boucher; Joyce Carroll and Elsie Hows; Miron Farmus, Gaspar Karczewski, Tamara Lesneiwska and Joanna Lesniewska; Rui and Ines Freitas, Dino Graniello and Donaldo Figueroa, Jean Philippe Gerard, Yasar Ismailoglu, Kaday Rose Kamara and Lise Munro (otherwise known as ‘Killpussy’).

‘Oral History Archive’ (DV Video) (Final Cut Duration: 6min30), HTAP, 2009   From January to May 2009, HTAP produced ten video interviews with residents from the London Borough of Hackney. Produced as an Oral History Archive. The interviews show individuals, couples, friends and families reflecting on conflict and displacement and what it means to call Hackney ‘home’.

Oral History Archive - Joyce and Elsie
Video Still: Elsie Hows and Joyce Caroll both discuss their experience during the war and the in/flux of new communities in and through Hackney. Joyce Caroll talks about staying in Hackney throughout the Blitz.
Yashar Ismailioglu
Installation shot of the ‘Oral History Archive’ first shown at ‘in/flux’ exhibition 2009. Yaşar İsmailoğlu, Hackney resident and founder of the Turkish Cypriot fine art society describes immigrating to the UK during the Greek Cypriot war.

The oral history archive was produced and edited by Marsha Bradfield, Marnie Baumer, Evan Brindle, Miriam Kings, Slade Lamey and Lucy Tomlins. The final cut was edited by Miriam Kings and Marsha Bradfield. It includes interviews with Marnie Baumer; Vivi and Rod Boucher; Joyce Carroll and Elsie Hows; Miron Farmus, Gaspar Karczewski, Tamara Lesneiwska and Joanna Lesniewska; Rui and Ines Freitas, Dino Graniello and Donaldo Figueroa, Jean Philippe Gerard, Yasar Ismailoglu, Kaday Rose Kamara and Lise Munro (otherwise known as ‘Killpussy’). ‘Echo Play’ Audio walk, Duration 3mins30 exhibited at Central St Martins Degree show, July 2007 and adapted for the Liverpool Biennial Independents, August 2008 ‘Echo Play’ audio walk examined contemporary celebrity phenomena in a science fiction narration. The narration through headphones attached to an MP3 player guides the walker from a busy road to a quiet haven in the city. The story describes in detail a manic world above their heads, where neon blue creatures work as invisible vehicles of information, communicating through tiny  sound waves. The walker is directed from the crowds of Charing Cross Road to a tiny pocket of beauty, The Phoenix Gardens.  Adapted for the Liverpool Biennial Independents.

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‘Echo Play’ audio walk route. An alley way called Phoenix street, links Charing Cross Road to The Phoenix Garden
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‘Echo Play’ The end of the Audio walk, The Phoenix Garden a community garden kept up by residents.
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Installation shot. The walker picked up an MP3 player and small map and returned it after the walk.

‘House, Flat, Roof’ Video, 6mins 13 (UK: Letchworth, Kingsway Estate, Cambridge, London) 2006

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Miriam Kings, (UK: Letchworth, Kingsway Estate, Cambridge, London)

‘Dual Methods’, 2007

Duration: 4mins 45secs  (UK: City of London, London)

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. Miriam Kings, (UK: City of London, London)

The Crypt Gallery (Curator) 2003-2005. The Crypt Gallery, Islington facilitating 48 Artists over 11 exhibitions and preview events with focus on performance over two years.

Highlights

‘Onsite’  (Co-curator) June 2005 

New works by fifteen artists that explored the history, form and function of the crypt itself. 2nd year BA students from Central Saint Martin’s and Slade School of Art. Curated by James Newton, Anton Nikolotov, Miriam Kings and Craig Kao.

Oct 2004

‘Really, this can’t wait’ (Co-curator)

Artists working predominantly in Installation, presented themes of mundane, memory, obsession and anxiety. Curated by the artists Davina Drummond, Ines Dearman, Corrine Bannister and Clair Suckall. Produced by Miriam Kings

Feb 2004 

Memories and memorials from Chile: 30 years since the military coup . 

(Co-curator)

An academic and peace activist from Chile, Roberta Bacic was directly involved in collecting testimonies from the relatives of those who had been murdered or ‘disappeared’ during the military dictatorship of General Pinochet in 1973-1990.

Photographs from the personal collection of activist Roberta Bacic.

October 2003

Keeping Glamour 

(Curator)

A multidisciplinary exhibition and fashion show organised with students from Central St Martins and members of St Mary’s Youth Club.

Participatory Art by Visualdept.co.uk.

Inevitability

May 2004 

(Curator)

Installation exhibition by Slade Lamey, with accompanying artworks by Eleanor Watson and Sine Skovsen both working with the circle.

Mass Illustration –  with album launch for ‘Only Joe’.

September 2005

(Curator) 

Participatory illustration installation with 100+ graffiti artists and illustrators linked to the the ‘Only Joe’ and The Crypt Gallery communities invited to create a mass illustration in anticipation to, and during the final opening.

(Curator/Participating Artist)

HTAP’s Hackney Wicked exhibition used dialogue and play to investigate community formation. Co curated by Marsha Bradfield, Alison Barnes, Miriam Kings, Lucy Tomlins, and David Woosnam. Featuring six different maps and set out like a fête, visitors moved from stall to stall, informing and directing the maps with their own marks. As a research and collection centre, it enabled experimentation with a sense of place to uncover micro stories and patterns; investigating community formation through dialogue and play Over 150 visitors attended this event during the five hours the doors were open.

Pattern making for beginners proposed creative cartographies as a way of imagining new forms of social cohesion: a day-long event at the Hackney Wicked festival to exhibit and further HTAP’s ongoing research into community formation.

The SIX MAPS….

1.  ‘The Postcode Map’ (aka Starburst/Mother map): As an introduction to participation, the viewer enters the exhibition to find the Post code map. ‘Estimate your home postcode in relation to Hackney Wick (exhibition location) and link the two’.

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The Postcode Map’ situated at the entrance of the exhibition & introduced the idea of viewer participation.

2. ‘Experience, desire and the nonsensical’  A Board game  A table-top version of the Hackney map where revealing sculptural patterns are formed out of individual experiences, desire and fantasy rooted within Hackney.

Place the counters where you feel most appropriate.

Included: favourite place for a pint, favourite cafe, somewhere you wish to conserve, somewhere beautiful, somewhere you wished to destroy, (bulldozer symbol), a place where you’ve experienced crime, a ladder to the moon, and ‘where you would put Richard Branson’. The board game became a hub of the exhibition, people  sharing stories about their experiences of Hackney reminiscent of a campfire situation.

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‘Experience, desire and the nonsensical’ Lucy Tomlins, 2009

3. ‘Typecast’ Share your opinions and descriptions of Hackney and help create a landscape of text. Alison Barnes

4. ‘Objects and Keepsakes’ Displayed on an old shelving unit, visitors picked up the object to see its story explained on the attached luggage label. Objects were collected from the extended HTAP community, many of whom could not be there on the day. 31 people donated an object of meaning, displayed for visitors to pick up and examine.

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‘Objects’ Miriam Kings (left of image- displayed on an old shelving unit

Communities that donated objects included the Turkish-Cypriot Community Centre, African Caribbean Reunion, and the Pub on the Park.

5.  ‘Secrets’ Unburden yourself on the Hackney map of secrets

This map was covered by a confessional style cloth. The visitor would write their secret on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope and post it into a box. Then they would mark on the map with a red cross where that secret happened in the borough of Hackney.

6. ‘Rumour as Repetition: A Conceptual Study’: Listen and repeat 

An oral and written survey: Posturing as pseudo science and/or live art, this performative exchange involves (1) soliciting anecdotal reflections on hearing/spreading rumours; (2) presenting an example rumour (Hackney related); (3) collecting and classifying rumours.

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Marsha_Bradfield Rumour as Repetition: A Conceptual Study

The work from this one-day interactive event was re-presented in the exhibition: ‘in/flux’.  

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Hackney WIcked Festival

Master sculptor Kevin Oduor has had a career spanning over 25 years sculpting and teaching. He created many of Nairobi’s public sculptures, including Dedan Kimathi at the heart of Nairobi Central Business District, Wanjiku sculpture at the High Court, and the Mau Mau Memorial sculpture of a freedom fighter receiving food from a woman passing a the “Kiondoo” basket.

In addition he is also a conceptual artist on the Nairobi art scene.

Slideshow above shows a piece from ‘Existence 1’ 2012  perhaps asking the question: Is a chair really a chair if it is non-functional? Further images: Installation shots of ‘Existance 2’  developing from Existance 1’s exploration of the object (chair) to the human figure.

His practice can be loosely separated into the work he creates as a master of craft (a public sculpture created to a specific brief), and the work he creates as a master of form (slideshow 2) a sculpture created without a project brief from a public body, or a particular use, except in the fine art context.

His two guises as ‘craft’ and ‘form’ master support his career trajectories and are inseparable from each other: the public sculptures still existing as contemporary art, and the chair still existing as skilled craft.

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Figure 1.  Master Sculptor Kevin Oduor leading a workshop in at Kuona Trust Studios, 2014. Photocredit: Anthony Wachira

The order of these art work do not correspond with generations, this selection includes master sculptors as well as newly established artists.

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Dennis Muraguri

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Master sculptor Gakunju Kaigwa

Grief

Jackie Karutti (interactive performance series ‘In the Case of Books’)

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Photo: Shira Mwangi
http://shiramwangi.wordpress.com/

Maryanne Muthoni

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Master Sculptor Kevin Oduor

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Existance – Kevin Oduor

 Elkana Ong’esa built in 1960’s

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Syowia Kyambi (Performance)

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Meshak Oiro

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Before you step foot into the Kuona gallery (an exhibition space willing to take the risk on edgy exhibitions) you will likely know the theme of the exhibition, from the leaflets and posters advertising the show. ‘Enjoy Responsibly’  is a universally a well-recognised phrase.

Coincidentally, in the past weeks the Kenyan press has shown impounding of 385 different brands of apparently illegal, sub-standard liquor. This is due to a number of people having died at the mercy of these sometimes 70% proof spirits.  Many favourite spirits banned, and public figures ‘Chiefs / Assistant Chiefs’ exposed and sacked for profiting on these brews.

Curated by Thom Ogonga this show also includes established artists such as Peterson Kamwathi who shows a video, Anthony Okello, and Kamicha.  As well as newer to the scene artist Maral Bolouri, who investigates cultural values and cross-cultural differences.

The art work It is John Kamicha’s work that successfully interrogate the title in all its pain and complexity.

Although I do like Anthony Okello’s rather wonderful green men and women diagram piece, Radioactive Chain seems to be saying:

  • Surely this is about a collective responsibility? Find solutions in working together as society not blaming individuals

In the depiction of Boys wa mkali – ‘The bad boys’ we see a playful but serious pun on the boys who drink alcohol for breakfast. Spirit bottle labels are folded into milk carton shaped triangles, implying that instead of Chai for breakfast, alcohol is on the menu. These Boys wa mkali cut out in sculpture with warped almost bird like face features, are conjoined together by an orange river of warmth.

Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout
Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout
Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout
Anthony Okello, ‘Radioactive Chain’ Paper cutout

 

Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
Detail: Maral Bolouri ‘Untitled’ Photocopy transfer, Pen, Watercolour, Paper
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
John Kamicha ‘Boys wa makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood

Their legs consist of collage of found images on DVD, reminiscent of religious paintings by masters of The Renaissance. The artist referencing ideology of our culture, making popular DVD characters into possible religious figures.

John Kamicha ‘Boys wa Makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood
Detail: John Kamicha ‘Boys wa Makali’ Mixed Media / Ply Wood

In Instead of the war on Poverty we got the war on Alcohol features painful looking colourful staples in a visually beautiful pattern joining Lesso materials together. Possibly a metaphor for Kenyan multiple identities. The mask head is a reflexive comment on the tradition of African culture, and reminds the viewer of their assumption of ‘african art’ by modernising it with some specs.

 Detail: John Kamicha ‘Instead of War on Poverty, They Got War on Alcohol’
Detail: John Kamicha ‘Instead of War on Poverty, They Got War on Alcohol’