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Straight out of the Pandemic: 'Re-framed' Art Exhibition Now Open in Nairobi

The art exhibition by Karakana Initiative that is showcasing art mostly made during the pandemic and in the period soon after, opened its doors on Tuesday 14th February at the Kenya Cultural Centre (Kenya National Theatre). The two-week show dubbed ‘Re-framed’ is organized in partnership with Art a Glance and Sanaa Art Universe and will run until 28th February. You can visit daily between 10:00am and 6:00pm and all art pieces are available for sale.

This special collection on etched rubber then finished with acrylics stands out. Art is by Ashna Kamande. The pieces are priced between Ksh30,000 and Kshgv60,000.

The exhibition features diverse artworks by 20 young artists, mostly oil and acrylics on canvas, a few mixed media and one special collection on etched rubber by Ashna Kamande. We also have four pieces by seasoned artist Kasambeko Paul a.k.a. Kaspa from Uganda. Kaspa’s work is symbolic of primarily dark tones and lines, combined by a harmonious colour palette. Other artists are Bob Ratemo, Sogallo, Michael Waweru, Onyango Ochieng, Zaire, Wango, Ango, Lorna Waweru, Kerosh, Clinton Artisto, Mike Omondi, Allan Akumba, Pop Marona and Native Nairobi

Bob Ratemo has a series of 10 images, mostly inspired during the pandemic when he did a complete career turnaround and started painting after relocating back to Kenya. His art depicts ordinary scenes of Kenyan daily life.

According to the curator of this exhibition Nahya Mando from Art a Glance, ‘Re-framed’ takes an in-depth look at life through the lenses of intense human experiences, and how the view changes when perspectives change. It features a collection of artwork created mostly in the last three years. This work unpacks the process of an artists’ creation over a period of time, offers reflections by the artists on the growth path to mastering continuous work, and expresses a stark realistic difference of perspective especially after a serious devastation like the global pandemic.

Nahya Mando (curator): ‘Re-framed’ takes an in-depth look at life through the lenses of intense human experiences, and how the view changes when perspectives change.

A good portion of the artworks on display also comes from artists under the Sanaa Art Universe, a collective that started way back in 2017 but got into deeper exhibition activities in the period around 2019 and 2020.. The team has been running art shows and activities under the able leadership of Vincent Lilechi, a fine art, design and animation lecturer.

African woman series by Michael Waweru is also worth a mention.

At Karakana, we hope to continuously support artists, even those from disadvantaged backgrounds, including informal settlements in Nairobi and beyond to showcase and sell their art. This is the second exhibition of the year after ‘Nairobi47’ which was an outdoor photo showcase about the sights and sounds of the capital city.

We at Karakana Initiative are excited to work with various partners this year, and invite like-minded individuals and organisations to work with us. ‘Re-framed’ art exhibition, and indeed many other projects undertaken by us, could not have been a success without partnership with other art and creative organisations and institutions.

Two of the 4 pieces by Kasambeko Paul (Kaspa), a seasoned artist from Uganda. His pieces are going for Ksh55,000 each.

Finally, we have ‘Malaika II’, a women-only art exhibition coming up in March. ‘Malaika II’ will be celebrating International Women’s Day coming up in early March and is in partnership with, among others, the Kenya National Visual Arts Association (KNVAA). Karakana will also be working closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service to set up a Wildlife photo exhibition at the KWS headquarters to observe the World Wildlife Day in the same month of March at their headquarters at Langata, Nairobi.

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