By Iminza Keboge
Published August 26, 2016
The weekend of dreaming, observing, thinking, travelling and celebrating humanity through art starts now and runs through December. That’s four months in the holiday mode.
To start you off is Yusuf Ssali, holder of a Makerere University Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Technology with specialisation in Industrial Art and Design whose visual arts exhibition opens on August 26 at Nairobi National Museum and runs through September 20.
So why don’t you let Ssali, a full time artist since 2002, introduce the exhibition he has titled The Other Side?
â€œAs an artist I begin my art from dreams, thoughts, stories and observation. My art is Realism, Abstract Narrative or pure abstract. I imagine how I can use my medium to engage viewers, buyers on the upside-down thinking process,” he explains. “When developing my paintings I merge methods and material and use the experience I have acquired through different approaches over the years. In some cases I adapt a form of layering technique for the effects I may need to create.”
Coming hot on the heels of Ssali’s The Other Side on August 29, 2016 is the 95th monthly Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff); the event brings together practitioners in eastern Africa’s movie sector to watch and discuss short films and network.
Held at Goethe-Institut in Nairobi CBD, LKSff shall focus on the work of 30 budding movie-makers who came together in 2013 with the aim of keeping their college friendship going, honing their skills and making a movie every month.
Their provocative short movies pose questions like: Does a manâ€™s happiness lie in the number of women he relates with? Can a woman find as a perfect lover in real life as the one in soap operas? Do perfect relationships exist? Is a wifeâ€™s obsession with settling scores with her husband fair game?
Members of the group, known as Mizani/Hamba Production, shall answer these questions through their films titled ARE YOU HAPPY?, CLICHÃ‰, INDULGE ME, HAPPY VALENTINES and ROLEX.
What We Need, What We Are Doing is the title of yet another art exhibition at Nairobi National Museum. The show, by Gemini Vaghela, runs September 3-30, 2016.
In line with her training in Interactive Multimedia Technologies, Vaghela uses various art forms to express herself. She concentrates on mixed media paintings using materials such as acrylic paint, sand, paper, saw dust, spray paints and ink.
“With abstracts I can define my understanding of a situation the way I perceives it,” she says. “The aim of my work is to draw in the viewers to find the deeper meaning under the work creating an emotional response which will keep them thinking about each piece long after they have moved on.”
The artist who says she has been practising art for 15 years, says the importance of the world around us motivates her to bring out the vitality of the earth.
But how did she get involved with art?
Gemini Vaghela says she joined the Blender Art Gallery in Perth, Western Australia, where she was based for about 10 years and participated in annual exhibitions held for residents.
Since moving to Nairobi, Vaghela has had several exhibitions at Nairobi National Museum, Banana Hill Art gallery, Mediterraneo Restaurant, Village Market, Kuona Trust, Karen Country Club and The Souk Gallery. Her artwork was selected for the UN Expo Milano 2015.
And, oh. Gemini Vaghela holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interactive Multimedia Technologies and a Diploma in Photography She is a resident artist at Kobo Trust Foundation.
But since a holiday is much more than just art exhibitions, I must tell you about travel and tourism within Kenya tourist attractions of Lamu, Maasai Mara, Laikipia and Nakuru.
A Lake Nakuru drive – in travel package at Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge costs Sh9900 per person sharing; Sh10000 per person sharing at Lake Nakuru Lodge; and Sh12000 per person sharing El Karama Lodge
Per person sharing. This package, from your favourite travel agent, is valid until December 15, 2016.
Also available is a self-drive package to Laikipia’s Il Ngwesi Lodge that costs Sh17000 per person sharing per night and Sh9000 per child over the same duration. This excludes conservancy fee of Sh1750 per adult and Sh850 per child. It is valid till December 15, 2016.
Then there is also a two-night flying package to Masai Mara at the cost of Sh66000 per person sharing; this rate covers two nights full board accommodation, return flights from Nairobi, return airstrip transfers and game drives. Get it before October 15, 2016.
Did I also mention that Lamu Island’s Kijani House (Sh7425), Lamu House (Sh7425) and Kizingo Beach (Sh11750) are offering bed and breakfast accommodation per person sharing? And that the offer is valid till December 15, 2016.
OK. Let the 4-month adventure begin.