Washa – simple tales in complex times

Create Hub Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
14 Dec 2017 - 31 Dec 2017

Richard Kimathi, Bubbles, 2016, mixed media on canvas, 158 x 142cm. Image courtesy of the artist and One-off Gallery, Nairobi.

Richard Kimathi, Bubbles, 2016, mixed media on canvas, 158 x 142cm. Image courtesy of the artist and One-off Gallery, Nairobi.

Create Hub Gallery opens its next exhibition, ‘Washa – simple tales in complex times’, featuring four heavy-weight Kenyan artists and curated by Jimmy Ogonga, who curated the Kenya Pavilion of the Venice Biennale 2017. Create Hub is the only gallery in the Middle East region dedicated to contemporary art from African perspectives. The exhibition of paintings by artists Paul Onditi, Patti Endo, Kaloki Nyamai, and Richard Kimathi, will run at the Gallery from 14th December till 31st December 2017.

‘Washa’, which could be translated to ‘ignite’ or ‘light’, refers to the reflex caused by an itch, and the strong restless desire to take action. In the context of this exhibition, the role of the artist is as a storyteller, a provider of narratives that come about from the creative spark, narratives that link to our pasts and to the futures.

Jimmy Ogonga, the curator, is an artist and producer highly influential in the African art scene. Ogonga was driving force behind the concept and creation of the Kenya Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. Speaking about ‘Washa’ he says, “the four artists in this exhibition all wander the many realms of a mystical world, posing, sifting, gathering bits and fragments, narrating them in simple grammar – a grammar whose immediate effect works to dissolve the opposition between the oral and the written, the past and the present, the traditional and the non-traditional.”

Of the four renowned Kenyan artists taking part in ‘Washa’, Paul Onditi and Richard Kimathi participated in the Kenya Pavilion at the Biennale, with both artists already gaining international attention for their extraordinary talent. Making great waves in their home country are Patti Endo, who has recently been recognized by East African Magazine as one of Kenya’s top ten female artists for her incisive line drawings, and Kaloki Nyamai, whose multi-media work features in the landmark ‘Young Guns’ exhibition in Kenya as one of the county’s top talents. Collectively, the intriguing works of ‘Washa’ are canvasses packed with commentary, admirable for each artist’s highly individual craftsmanship and elemental narrative style, and beguiling delivery of their message.


Create Hub Gallery
Warehouse #4, Al Quoz 3





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