NAOMI WANJIKU GAKUNGA

"Tushauriane-Let’s talk about it", 2013 – 2016, Sheet metal, steel wire, fabric, 90” X 84”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Born in 1960, Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga grew up among the Kikuyu people of Kenya. She first    studied art at the University of Nairobi, Kenya before continuing her studies at UCLA, USA. She now lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. Gakunga has displayed works in numerous exhibitions in the USA, France, Brazil and Poland.

Her works are predominantly wall hanging sculptures, created from nontraditional materials– sheet metal, steel wire and fibre. Sheet metal, known in Swahili as Mabati, is ubiquitous in Kenya. It is used mainly for roofing materials and walls. Sheet metal is particularly associated with Mabati Women’s Groups of the ‘60s. These grassroots groups organized in order to improve their communities, by upgrading the roofs of their homes using sheet metal.

Naomi observed the success of their efforts, the harvesting of water from the new roofs and the consequent ageing of the material itself. She mirrors these effects in her own artistic process that weathers the surfaces of the materials. She occasionally adds dye to create color and more complex effects. The delicate transformations etched in metal by the effects of weathering, chance and time emphasize an ethereal, transient beauty.

Her art tells stories about the impact of water on women’s lives. Naomi examines how women have confronted the challenge of collecting and managing water resources in underdeveloped countries. She tells their stories of transformation, renewal, and empowerment. Her sculptures reflect, at one and the same time, both the Mabati’s enduring functionality and its fragility.

Source: http://naomiwanjiku.com/

http://www.octobergallery.co.uk/artists/gakunga/index.shtml

Photos has been taken from the artist’s website and are covered by copyright  

“TῖῖriMũtune”, 2013, fabric, beads, stainless steel wire, 85”x59”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“TῖῖriMũtune – detail”, 2013, fabric, beads, stainless steel wire, 85”x59”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“Before Winter”, 2016, Sheet metal, steel wire, dry leaves, handcrafted paper, 50”X40”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“Before Winter – detail”, 2016, Sheet metal, steel wire, dry leaves, handcrafted paper, 50”X40”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“Tushauriane-Let’s talk about it –detail”, 2013 – 2016, Sheet metal, steel wire, fabric, 90” X 84”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“Tushauriane-Let’s talk about it –detail”, 2013 – 2016, Sheet metal, steel wire, fabric, 90” X 84”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

Routes of Migration“, 2014, Sheet metal, steel wire, paper, 91” X 85”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“Folklorico IV”, 2014, sheet metal, steel wire, poultry wire, fabric, 35” X 75’ X 23”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“Folklorico IV – detail”, 2014, sheet metal, steel wire, poultry wire, fabric, 35” X 75’ X 23”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

“Folklorico IV – detail”, 2014, sheet metal, steel wire, poultry wire, fabric, 35” X 75’ X 23”, copyright Naomi Wanjiku

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