Arts & Culture
Michael James and Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga at Southwest School of Art
Published: May 15, 2013
Some of the most effective works utilize tin cans. When the British left Kenya after independence was acheived in 1963, they took much of the economic infrastructure with them. Men in rural districts flowed into Nairobi, the capitol, to find work. Women, left to their own in the villages, had to take on tasks traditionally held by men, and had little time to make traditional crafts. Wanjiku recalls that her grandmother kept a large tin can, with a big string handle, as a bucket to pull water from the well.
Though Wanjiku’s work recalls memories of postcolonialism, there is a lack of bitterness. Instead, one feels confidence, as if remembering the past ensured the future.
Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga: A Tradition of Strings
Michael James: Organizing Nature
Southwest School of Art,
Through July 7