Immy Mali – #01

Objects Of Memory

C& in Conversation with Immy Mali – read the interview!

It all started with some letters.

The artist Immy Mali wrote them as part of a project she has been working on for the last couple of years. Sixty-six letters to her younger self between the ages of approximately five (or fewer) and twelve years of age. A journey that started as images of events from childhood began to manifest in her work.

“This collation of letters is only the first part of my ongoing project Letters to my Childhood, which I will continue to develop as the years go by. I have always been interested in ways of showing work that are not limited to gallery spaces or indeed to any physical space. The exhibition presents the letters as well as animations, images of installations, and sketches that I consider to be responses from Marcue, my childhood self. I find it important to exhibit the letters as they capture thoughts, memories, and viewpoints in a form that is not heavily adulterated by in-depth research into the topics that arise as the writing unfolds.”

The multilayered experience of Letters to my Childhood is presented here in six chapters in the frame of C& Commissions.

C& in Conversation with Immy Mali – read the interview!
 

We longed for the Christmas holidays. When we got there, we ran into the hut & lay on the floor staring at the intricate weaves in the ceiling, wondering how water couldn’t penetrate mere straw. A cousin spoke of scorpions that crawled out in the night, we scrambled and begged for Christmas to end.

Immy Mali
The Hut, 2019
Digital edition.



He picked up the adungu to play and a religious aura engulfed us. His head swayed His eyes engaged, Onlookers relaxed, they smiled, they danced, he sung He became my favourite uncle.

Immy Mali
Adungu, 2019
Digital Edition



An Afro comb to keep the hair kempt for church on Sundays. 

Immy Mali
Afro comb, 2019
Digital edition



Milk sachets always made bouncier footballs, which the boys kicked in the field of red soil. 

Immy Mali
Ball, 2019
Digital Edition 



Bash into the bush Fix your foot between the spokes Get to school every morning with the boda-boda rider It’s a bicycle after all. 

Immy Mali
The Bicycle, 2019
Digital Edition



Eyo emotoka yange!!! That’s my car! The red one is mine! The blue one is mine! The big track is MINE! We shouted from our posts across the street! 

Immy Mali
Emotoka, 2019
Digital Edition



Nancy eloped with the neighbour’s cat.

Immy Mali
Nancy, 2018
Digital Edition



Behead the bird and let it run. 

Immy Mali
Enkoko, 2019
Digital Edition



Whenever the talent shows begun, my hopelessness came through! There were no longer A’s but F’s in performance and so I settled for the background clappers. 

Immy Mali
Drum, 2018
Digital Edition



A Giant thermos flask for milk tea and another for dry tea. 

Immy Mali
Giant Flask, 2019
Digital Edition



Over and over the girls drew this flower At Shimoni we drew to see who drew it better and it eventually ended up looking like henna flower patterns.

Immy Mali
Flower, 2018
Digital Edition 



It didn’t matter how far one hid. Hot combing Saturdays were upon us. The stove was lit and the coils straightened.

Immy Mali
Hot comb, 2019
Digital Edition



Light in the house meant we could call the place home. Darkness was a symbol to keep away. 

Immy Mali
House 1
House series, 2019
Digital Edition



Light in the house meant we could call the place home. Darkness was a symbol to keep away.

Immy Mali
House 2
House series, 2019
Digital Edition



Light in the house meant we could call the place home. Darkness was a symbol to keep away.

Immy Mali
House 3
House series, 2019
Digital Edition



At the sound of Beethoven’s Fur Elise… Kids tagged at their mothers’ skirts Threw tantrums or became the most well behaved After all the ice-cream man had arrived and only the most manipulative got to a bite of ice-cream that day.

Immy Mali
Ice cream, 2018
Digital Edition



Majestically it fences off the homesteads and blooms in yellows disguising its sappy nature. The kids play around it and are often reprimanded if they dare to touch its leaves. LOOK THIS CHILD WANTS TO DIE!!! Shouts the adult who slaps the leaves out of the kid’s hands. 

Immy Mali
Tree 1
Lasia series, 2019
Digital Edition



Majestically it fences off the homesteads and blooms in yellows disguising its sappy nature. The kids play around it and are often reprimanded if they dare to touch its leaves. LOOK THIS CHILD WANTS TO DIE!!! Shouts the adult who slaps the leaves out of the kid’s hands.

Immy Mali
Tree 2
Lasia series, 2019
Digital Edition



Black and red HB pencils in multitudes. We all had one. Using a razor, I scrapped off paint on one side and wrote my name in ink. That way I could easily find it if it went missing. 

Immy Mali
Pencil, 2019
Digital Edition



Meals prepared by Anakuru, Lucy, Sida, Florence, Harriet, Beatrice, Joycia, Lekuru, Palma, Agnes, Jane, Mariana, Scovia… 

Immy Mali
Sigiri, 2018
Digital Edition



The children and the women sit on the mat. They’re inevitably in submissive positions. Closer to the ground.

Immy Mali
Matt 1
Nubian Mat series, 2019
Digital Edition



Colourful Nubian mats, “If you sit leaning on your arm, the food that you’re eating will go to one side of your body so sit up right and eat your food while it’s hot”.

Immy Mali
Matt 2
Nubian Mat series, 2019
Digital Edition



Split the hair to plait, Stretch the roots in portions, scratch dandruff in soothing motions and let me snooze.

Immy Mali
Jolly comb, 2019
Digital Edition



Having the leg splint on allowed me to be a power ranger.

Immy Mali
Leg Splint, 2019
Digital Edition



The dwelling place for all memory. In playing kasonko, we ascended in classes, we bought land and built houses, we became landlords and evicted neighbours.

Immy Mali
Kasonko the portal, 2018
Digital edition



The playmates we made and discarded as soon as we could afford a white doll.

Immy Mali
Dolle series, 2018
Digital Edition



A ring a ring of roses… A pocket full of posies A tissue, a tissue We all fall down…

Immy Mali
Dolle series, 2018
Digital Edition



You’ve got to always give a visitor tea in a cup seated on a saucer.

Immy Mali
Cup and saucer, 2018
Digital Edition



Keep the cream from falling into the milk as it is poured into the cup. Make passion fruit juice.

Immy Mali
The strainer, 2018
Digital Edition



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