Investec Cape Town Art Fair
Booth A15, 15 – 17 March, 2019
Elias Mung’ora (Kenyan, b. 1992)
Elias Mung’ora currently lives and works in Nairobi. Born and raised in Nyeri, 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 the present 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 (between) people and their surroundings leave(s) 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.
Dickens Otieno (Kenyan, b. 1979)
Dickens Otieno’s currently lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya. Otieno’s practice is driven by the search for meaning in objects and materials that are discarded and no longer useful. Aluminium cans gathered from local kiosks, bars, and marketplaces, are shredded and woven into tapestries, akin to natural materials such as papyrus, raffia, or palm that have long been used for weaving.
Otieno’s recent compositions, draw on the built environment – the urban landscape in which he lives – reducing and abstracting lines and forms visible in and around the city. The resulting works possess sculptural qualities, drawing the viewer’s attention to colour, texture and volume.
Otieno has participated in group exhibitions locally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include: See Here, Old Neals Auction House, Nottingham, 2018; Africa/Africa, Total Arts Courtyard Gallery, Al Quoz, Dubai, 2018; Young Guns, Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, 2017; The Third Dimension, Circle Art Gallery, 2016; UNI-FORM MULTI-FORM, Roots Contemporary, Nairobi, 2016; Paint and Metal, National Museum in Nairobi, 2016.
Longinos Nagila (Kenyan, b. 1986)
Longinos Nagila is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Nairobi. Nagila’s work spans the mediums of painting, video, and installation, investigating the process and implications of mass production, industrialization and rapid urbanization. Nagila’s recent work centers the relationship between shapes and surfaces, and light and with the viewer as well. He creates objects that emphasize acts of looking and our interactions with objects before our eyes.
The viewers’ interpretation of these compositions relies not so much on what is depicted as they do on our own knowledge and experiences, which determine how we read them. He offers us objects around which we can build fictions and narratives. For Nagila they are also an interrogation of what constitutes an art object, the materials used for art and the processes of art making from a social perspective. It’s not enough to view this work from a single standing position.
After graduating from the Buruburu institute of Fine Arts, Nairobi in 2009, he went on to study documentary film making at the Apulia Film Commission in Bari, Italy. Nagila has participated in numerous exhibitions both locally and internationally, along with participation in several art fairs. Recent group exhibitions include: Proximity to Power, Circle Art Gallery/ Goethe Insitut Nairobi, 2017; African Voices National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 2017; Freedom Flight Refuge, Circle Art Gallery, 2016; Error X, Ostrale, Dresden, 2016. He has had several solo exhibitions including: In Search of Alternative Utopias, The Art Space, Nairobi, 2017; Democracy My Piss, Kuona Trust, Nairobi, 2016; Technicians of the Sacred, The Art Space, Nairobi, 2016. Nagila’s work has also been shown in international art fairs: AKAA Paris, 2016; and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair London, 2017.