By Ogova Ondego
Published July 8, 2015
A 10-day art exhibition that could be aptly titled ‘Too Much of Anything is Poisonous’ in line with conventional wisdom, opens at Nairobi’s Kuona Art Trust on July 9, 2015.
The exhibition, Enjoy Responsibly, tackles substance abuse, a subject that resonates with Kenyans as they are currently waging a war against illicit alcohol that has disrupted lives across the East African country.
Bringing together artists Thom Ogonga, Ndeithi Kariuki, Peterson Kamwathi, Maral Bolouri, Anthony Okello and John Kamicha, Kuona Trust says Enjoy Responsibly “is an attempt to understand substance abuse, addiction, its symptoms, the problems and possible ways of rehabilitation through a body of conceptual work developed by six visual artists.”
The theme of the Enjoy Responsibly show appears to agree with the observation of Paracelsus, a 15th Century Swiss German Renaissance scientist’s observation: “All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison.”
Also opening on July 9, 2015 at Alliance Francaise in the Nairobi CBD is a group exhibition that showcases the work of both formally trained and self-taught artists.
The artists whose work shall be exhibited in a show titled â€˜Colour Identityâ€™ are Moses Nyawanda, Moses Muigai, Kevin Ndege, Pascal Chuma and Isabellah Mosigisi.
“Colour is a potent element of these artistsâ€™ visual language, each distinctively exploiting colour value in his/her creativity,” Alliance Francaise says.
While Moses Nyawanda and Kevin Ndege are based at the Nairobi Railway Museum Art Studio and Pascal Chuma and Isabellah Mosigisi are from the Bobea Art Centre in Nairobi’s Eastlands, Moses Muigai practices from his studio at home in Thika on the outskits of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
Both Nyawanda and Muigai are graduates of the defunct Creative Art Centre which played a significant role in the Kenyan fine art scene from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Pascal studied at the Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts and Kevin and Isabellah are self-taught.
Meanwhile, Nairobi National Museum (NNM) is from July 15, 2015 exhibiting A Stitch in Time, an award-winning painting by Kenyan artist Ann Ntinyari Mwiti till October 15, 2015.
Mwiti’s A Stitch in Timeâ€”that investigates the role of individuals in mitigating peace on the global sceneâ€”won the first prize in a competition organised by World Citizen Artists in collaboration with Playing for Change Foundation, Belgravia Gallery and Issuu Publishing in 2014.
The artwork was exhibited at the Belgravia Gallery in London, England for a month (December 10, 2014-January 12, 2015) alongside others “by renowned artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, HRH The Prince of Wales, Nelson Mandela to name a few,” NNM says in a media statement. “Anne Mwiti is now a life time member of the World Citizen Artists as well as their Ambassador advocating for Peace globally through art.”
“The Nairobi National Museum celebrates Anne Ntinyari Mwiti and joins her in her efforts to help spread the peace message by displaying A Stitch in Time for three months in the museum galleries from 15 July to 15 October 2015. It is our hope that the pertinent messages in this painting will provide an opportunity to reflect on each of our own commitment towards a peaceful co-existence.”