Artist Talk: Ngene Mwaura talks about Reclamation
Ngene Mwaura, born in 1981, has worked as an artist for over a decade. He trained at Glendale Community College, and later Pasadena City College in California. Mwaura’s wide ranging practice has seen him take on various projects including album cover design, mural painting, book illustration, and live painting in the Los Angeles music festival circuit.
He has shown his work locally and internationally, in numerous group shows and solo exhibitions at locations in Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, and California. His work can be found in the collections of the Commercial Bank of Africa, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nairobi, and the University Of Tampa Florida.
Previously based in Altadena, California, Reclamation is his first show upon his return to Nairobi in the last couple of months.
About the Show
The dust of the farm.
The dhania gardens.
The soil that nourished me from birth.
The beauty of transformation revealed in the changing of the seasons.
Ngene Mwaura’s artistic practice consists in bridging the gap between the inside and the outside, attempting to find his place in the world through extending and intermingling personal and collective histories and knowledges. He goes in search of ideas, love, and consciousness, to replenish a self being pulled in multiple directions, in a world in constant motion.
In Reclamation, Mwaura is on a quest to find home, to reclaim himself through his past and present environments. Mwaura modifies and elaborates the traditional masks and traditional African imagery, as his starting points, yielding vibrant new forms that are laden with symbolic intent. The vivid colours and the patterns and textures of his intricately worked panels bear both artist and viewer across time, to the places, the people, and the relationships that have nurtured him throughout his life.
Here is work born of personal loss and earnest self-examination, a journey to find truthfulness. This is Ngene Mwaura, giving an account of himself.