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Peterson KAMWATHI

Born in Kenya in 1980, lives and works in Kiambu and Nairobi.

Kamwathi combines clear conceptual elements and rich content with technical mastery in a variety of media. His main body of work has been in printmaking, but recently he has been creating powerful drawings in charcoal and mixed media. He strives to depict and symbolise different issues that impact on him and his society and, at times, those that affect the world as a whole – socially, politically or environmentally, depending on the specific concerns at any given time. Symbols are an important part of his work; they have either local or universal meanings and act as trigger mechanisms which allow the viewer into the subjects of his art.

Kamwathi uses animal imagery to represent human issues and characteristics, and in so doing he constructs another dimension, a narrative, almost like fireside stories told by the elderly. «In my current work I am creating a series of drawings depicting “queues”.

These are derived from imagery and experiences relating to the voting process, the migration process and in services like banking. Queues are signs of events in time. I am trying to look at channelling, conditioning and manipulation as symbolised by people in a queue – in the areas of politics, migration and economics in both contemporary and historical contexts. It is still a concept in progress.»

See online : On http://africanworks.blogspot.com

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