Exhibition Day!

Today the girls arrived with their beautiful babies and pregnant bellies to see their work, proudly (and publically displayed) for the first time ever, on the white walls of the GoDown Arts centre. The expression on their faces was one of unmistakable excitement. They were understandably a little anxious too! The food was laid out for them and they very much enjoyed sampling all the finger foods. One of them told me they had never before used a wine glass. All these details meant the world to them because they had never in their lives experienced anything like this. Seeing their work on the wall was the cherry on top of the cake. They couldn’t believe what they had accomplished and how, afte

The Lead up, to GoDown

The GoDown Arts Centre is home to Kenyan creativity in arts and media. Established in 2003, in a space that was formerly a car repair warehouse, the centre has contributed significantly to the growth, recognition and visibility of local artist by fostering and facilitating collaborations and encounters between artists from different disciplines and different parts of the world. The GoDown arts centre have kindly agreed to host the exhibition in their space. I will be curating the exhibition and arranging the photographs on the walls in time for the exhibition opening on the 16th September. Over 400 images need to be on the wall and exhibited as straight as possible. I’m a perfectionist and h

On Reflection

As my Artist-In-residency nears its end, I am reflecting on what the past weeks have taught me. For me, Kenya has been marked by contrasts. It has been inspiring and beautiful, but challenging at the same time. The realities of what I have seen in Nairobi, have helped me to better appreciate where I come from. Kenyans are hard workers. The streets are constantly buzzing and awash with people going to and fro at all hours. Traffic is gridlocked. People are relentlessly in pursuit of money. It is a survival game and money is the currency that speaks. I have been asked on so many occasions why I would not expect to be paid for the work I am doing here. The concept of working for free is alien h

Preparing for the exhibition

Today’s workshop involved looking through the images that the participants have taken and which have now been printed in preparation for the exhibition. The girls were very excited to see their work in print. I felt a little disappointed that they had not followed the brief completely, but most of the images do illustrate personal stories. As much as i was not enthralled by all of the images, I was happy to get a glimpse into their worlds. They showed a lot of enthusiasm about the exhibition and having the opportunity to showcase what they have been doing in the workshops over the past few weeks. The second part of the workshop was a session on family planning. I invited Dommy, who works for

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

This is the second week of workshops. We started the session by reviewing the images the participants had taken the week before both in the workshop, and in their spare time through their assignment. The classes have grown. Today I had over 15 students. A few participants from the first week did not return as they had found jobs or gone back to school, but more had heard about the workshops through word of mouth, and came in their place. It was a little distracting for the girls who were there the first week to wait as I repeated the lessons of the first session to the newcomers, but they waited patiently. Most of them became reserved and were reluctant to share their experiences. I tried my

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With thanks to Victor Ehikhamenor for allowing us to use images of his art work.