On that rare ocassion when I find that I have some hours (even a day) to spare, I Love to go and see and discover…
Discover I did. On a recent trip to Mutchatha a small town fifteen or so minutes away from Nairobi, I called up an artist I had met at an Artists’ Workshop sponsored by the Export Processing Council (EPC). He had mentioned that he and his two brothers worked from home in a workshop on Limuru Road. I have to say, I was humbled to find such talent in such humble aboard and challenged in turn to simplify my own life… that perhaps one day my means may meet my needs… I digress.
Tucked into the hills and valleys of rural-suburban living I met an artist of surprising repute, Willie Wamuti has painted for over ten years he says- since 1996! I had the pleasure of being allowed to view some of his pieces pre-installation, these scarp metal sculptures will be put up at the new phase of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. What an honour!
As he ushered me to his humble studio, which really was his Verandah outside his house, I was struck by what talent could lie beyond the hills, beyond the streets of Nairobi, beyond the less modest precincts of Nairobi. He explains to me that he was evicted from other studio spaces, not for failure of payments but because the Landlords never understood his craft… ‘It is the curse of the Artist’ I implode! But he is very happy and at peace here, he says he feels inspired and at ease. See some of his paintings here:
As an endnote, let me say that I one day hope to afford one of his paintings – Eyes Wide Open> But till then, kazi iendelee. I shall continue insearch of HE(ART)!