By Abdi Ali
Published October 9, 2017
Lovers of the arts in Nairobi are for two months being treated to a rare but welcome phenomenon as contemporary arts and culture of Nigeria are displayed in the major galleries of Kenya’s commercial and socio-cultural capital.
The show that kicked off at The Nairobi Gallery (Old Provincial Commissioner’s House) and Nairobi National Museum on October 1 to coincide with the 50th Independence of Africa’s most populous country extends to Alliance Francaise where a month-long exhibition titled The Vanishing Textiles of Africa opens on October 9.
“Though textiles in Africa are a major art form and a source of intrigue and inspiration to fashion and fabric designers throughout the world,” Alliance Francaise, that is hosting the exhibition in collaboration with African Heritage, says the textiles on show are either endangered or extinct.
Alongside The Vanishing Textiles of Africa is what is described as artworks by pioneer artists such as Nike Seven Seven Okundaye who is said to be Nigeria’s foremost batik and textile designer. A lecture, artworks and textiles from the collection of the artist who has ‘devoted her life to the preservation and protection of Nigeria’s splendid textile heritage’ shall be on display.
This exhibition without gate charges runs 8:30 AM-8:30 PM daily, except Sunday, till October 29, 2017.
While the show at The Nairobi Gallery (Old PC’s House) that exhibits the work of ‘pioneer Nigerian artists’ ends on December 8, the one at Nairobi National Museum that shows ‘artworks and textiles from a dozen of Nigeria’s leading contemporary arts’ winds up on November 30.
But it looks like it is at Alliance Francaise that is the focal point shall be.
Also coming to Nairobi is what is described as ‘the largest juried Art Show Event in East Africa’. The annual Affordable Art show shall take place at Nairobi National Museum November 3-5, 2017.
Meanwhile, other equally important art shows are also taking place in Nairobi; they include an exhibition of recent paintings and prints by by John Silver (October 6-31) and paintings, sculptures and other artforms by Emmanuel Kariuki at Nairobi National Museum; and 102nd Lola Kenya Screen film forum (LKSff) at Goethe-Institut in the Nairobi CBD.
LKSff has since 2005 been screening and critiquing movies, encouraging moviemakers and exploring ways of integrating motion pictures in eastern Africa with other socio-cultural and economic activities in order to come up with a sustainable movie industry.
Often one of the first places where new films can be seen and young talent spotted, LKSff is one of the five programmes of the Lola Kenya Screen (LKS) audiovisual media and arts festival, skills-development and marketing platform for children and youth in eastern Africa. It is presented by ComMattersKenya consultancy in collaboration with Goethe-Institut.