Elias Mung’ora: Kenyan, b. 1992

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Elias Mung’ora works in Nairobi. Born and raised in Nyeri, in Central Kenya, he originally moved to Nairobi, to study Real Estate and Property Management but gave this degree course up to pursue a full time career as an artist. Mung’ora works mainly in painting, drawing and photography.

Mung’ora’s work focuses on the urban environment and the living conditions of Nairobi., he has used his art making as a means to consider his relationship to the city and his place in it. Mung’ora is interested in the political and economic history of Nairobi and how this history is reflected in present the day.

Of particular interest to him is the material remains of previous lives – a ‘memory’ of physical spaces. He considers how everyday human activity alters the appearance of physical spaces. The interaction of people and their surroundings leaves behind traces and marks. The resulting aesthetic is often a testament to time and histories, hints of activities or the nature of the people who lived and worked there. These marks are interpreted as footprints or as a collage of everyday human life, and offer insight into the politics of space and access.

Mung’ora is a member of Brush Tu, a Nairobi-based artists’ collective, and has participated in several group exhibitions including Kikulacho, British Institute in East Africa, 2018; Remains, Waste & Metonymy II: Sensing Nairobi, British Institute in East Africa, 2017; Stranger Times, Circle Art Gallery, 2017; Young Guns, Circle Art Gallery, 2017. Solo shows include Journal Entries, Little Art Gallery, 2016. He was the winner of the 2016 Manjano Art Prize in Nairobi, and a top ten finalist in the 2018 edition of the Barclays L’Atelier competition.