Mwili, Akili na Roho (Body, Mind and Spirit) held at Nairobi, Kenya is an important international show. That showcases East African painters who are major participants in the art of modernism from the regions. Modernism in fine arts is the period of exploration in the late 1800s until the mid 1900s. It was a change from the realism. That was prevalent in the past, and a quest for new ways of expression.
The exhibit features a collection of artists from various generations that differ in their background. As well as the subject matter and the forms of their work. They span fifty years worth of East African art – from 1950 until 2000. They are: Sam Joseph Ntiro (1923-1990), Elimo Njau (1932-), Asaph Ng’ethe Macua (1930-), Jak Katarikawe (1940-2018). Theresa Musoke (1942), Peter Mulindwa (1943-), Sane Wadu (1954), John Njenga (1966-1997), Chelenge van Rampelberg (1961) and Meek Gichugu (1968).
Together, they make up an interesting cross-section paintings of figurative nature that come from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Figurative art draws inspiration from the real world, specifically human figures.
Modernism is often as a western phenomenon It a reference to Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse or Marc Chagall. These African modernist artists often challenge the western notions of primitive colonized. Peoples at the same time that they long to return to practices of colonial times. This is among the reasons why the exhibition so compelling. It also contains a myriad of ideas to think about that are relevant to the present day.
A Growing Display Kenya
The first exhibition in the series Mwili, Akili na Roho held in Germany in the year 2020. This was part wider context of a solo exhibit by the artist who conceived it. The famous American-Kenyan artist Michael Armitage. Armitage was the creator of Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute which where the show in the process of displayed. The year 2021 was the time Mwili, Akili na Roho made the move to London. In the wake of Michael Armitage’s Paradise Edict.
The third edition in Nairobi is a step up from the previous two. The first edition featured seven art pieces with the exception. The works of Njenga in Kenya, Mulindwa from Uganda and Ntiro from Tanzania. The Nairobi edition features a total of 54 works, which includes other works from collections across the globe. In addition, the artworks drawn from the artist’s own collections.
The exhibit focuses at painting. It is among the well-known artistic mediums and is a kind of historical perspective of painting in East Africa. It’s a gateway to an in-depth understanding of this past, as well as the long-lasting influence of artistic concepts and art establishments from the region.
Kenya Religion And Faith
For instance, the notion of religion and faith can seen in works like the work of Ntiro, Agony in the Garden (1950) Agony in the Garden (1950), an African portrayal of the tale about Jesus at The Garden of Gethsemane before his death by crucifixion.
The 1980s were when Wadu used a completely different method to deal with the issue. He portrays himself in the form of Jesus as Jesus in Walking on the Water and in the Give us our Daily Bread. Tells his own faith story through his artwork. Attributes his successes on the road to God who had him suffering from tuberculosis when he a child but being healed as a result through his faith.
There are artists who have embraced religion through African mythology of humanity. Mulindwa was a huge fan of study into the mythology about the Toro people from Uganda that has influenced his art.
Kenya Politics And Land
Katarikawe’s paintings depict cattle as a symbol of our lives, drawing directly from people’s lives. Landscapes and nature are also featured prominently. Concepts of the politics of land provide commentary on the social sphere, as well as colonialism as well as the theft of land.
Landscapes are also influenced by artists like Musoke who was a refugee in Kenya and then fled Uganda under the rule of the dictator Idi Amin. Mulindwa’s sprawling, chaotic landscapes are a subtle critique of the oppression and oppression of Uganda.
East African Art Structures
It’s helpful, while taking a look at the exhibit to think about the backgrounds of the artists. Five of them trained by Makerere University in Uganda, in the process of creating a school of thinking with a significant importance within East Africa.
The interconnected backgrounds permit to reflect on art and architecture spaces that were present throughout East Africa. After the region gained independence There was a brief period during which Makerere University, the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and the University of Nairobi (Kenya) were all part of the same art school, the Margaret Trowell School of Industrial and Fine Art. There was a transfer of knowledge and influence which can seen through the works that displayed in the exhibition.
The remaining five didn’t receive any formal education in the field of art. One of them was Njau was the creator of the Paa ya Paa Arts Centre in Nairobi and Musoke taught art at the universities for over 25 years. Wadu among the original members of the Ng’echa Arts Collective in Kenya (established in 1955, and commonly known as the village of artists and gained acclaim in the Gallery Watatu in Nairobi, in which Gichugu the first artist to exhibit in a solo show. Also, the exhibit illustrates how visual art can utilized to teach about the past.
The Creation Of A New Space
While Nairobi Nairobi current art scene become alive with galleries that sell and exhibiting works but there a museum or space that dedicated to tracing the history of art in the region as well as recording it and creating content that can and analyzed in the future.
The Nairobi Contemporary Art Institute has been rightfully claiming this space. Mwili, Akili na Roho is an example of significant choices that the gallery has made to promote the arts in the area. The exhibit is educational and is open to schools as well as institutions in Kenya in order for the students find out more about the exhibition.