Circle Art Gallery presents the group exhibition Lucid Dreams curated by Don Handa.
How can process, chosen media, and the resulting forms reveal the exploratory qualities of art making? Lucid Dreams uses drawing, painting, sculpture and video to think through how the acts and decisions involved in the making of art are made visible in the work and how they show the thinking that underpins the work. Avoiding explicit narration, these six artists look instead to repetitive gestures and at times, ambiguous imagery to consider different mental, emotional, and physical aspects of their existance. Whilst all these artists have certain specific starting points, their creations unfold in ways that are open-ended and unpredictable. Memory, the history of materials, spatial relationships and cultural identities; these are some of the subjects dealt with in work that is simultaneously meditative, introspective, and speculative.
Lucid Dreams includes works of:
Maliza Kiasuwa (b. 1975) is a Kenyan based artist working in painting and sculpture. Kiasuwa works with everyday objects, combining constructive and reductive processes to explore the formal possibilities of these materials. In Kiasuwa’s work, the histories and associations of these objects, and their mutability, function as a continuous analogy for the transformative and regenerative cycles of life. Kiasuwa’s work has featured in solo and group exhibitions in Nairobi, London, Milan, and Geneva.
Sidney Mang’ong’o’s (b. 1983) practice has been marked by experimentation, working primarily in the mediums of painting and collage. Much of his earlier work relied on layering of paper and board, using textures and colour to explore notions of socio-political degradation. In recent years, Mang’ong’o’s work has taken an abstract turn, and he has looked to geometric forms to think through the physical environment and our position within it.
Mang’ong’o’s previous exhibitions include: X-tract, Subtract, Abstract, 2013; Freedom Flight Refuge, 2016; Young Guns, 2017; and Imagined Structures, a solo exhibition at Circle Art Gallery in 2018.
Onyis Martin (b. 1987) is a Nairobi-based artist whose works in painting, sculpture, installation and video. In his work, Martin engages with personal and collective memory, freedom and belonging and how these are influenced by social and economic transformation. Martin has participated in several local and international exhibitions and artist residencies, including be-com-ing, a solo at Red Hill Art Gallery in 2017; error: X, Ostrale Biennale, Dresden, 2016, and Still Here Tomorrow to High Five You Yesterday, Zeitz MoCAA, 2019.
Prina Shah’s (b. 1973) practice intricately combines her skills in various media including painting, sculpture, glasswork, and mixed media installations, creating works that trace personal emotional journeys within wider social contexts. Shah studied at the Southampton Institute for Higher Education, and has taken part in many residencies and workshops throughout her career. She has exhibited locally and internationally and her work is included in the private collections including KPMG Kenya, I&M Bank, the Kouvola Museum in Finland, and the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
Lemek Tompoika (b. 1988) studied drawing and fine art at the Creative Arts Centre, Nairobi, and in 2013 took up a studio at Kuona Trust Art Centre to begin a full-time art practice. Working predominantly in drawing, his work reflects a curiosity about public spaces, and the dynamics of human behaviour as they are shaped by collective knowledge and beliefs. Lemek’s work has shown in several group exhibitions locally and internationally, including Young Guns, 2017; Identity, 2018; and In Between, a solo show in 2018. He has also participated in international, continental and national competitions as well as conducting workshops in Kenya.
Agnes Waruguru Njoroges’ (b. 1994) work ranges from painting, drawing, printmaking, needlework and installation. The materiality of objects in space is at the core of her explorations, which are intimately rooted in personal identity politics, often referencing women’s practices and traditional cultural identifiers. Waruguru received a BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design, USA. Her work has been exhibited in America, France and Kenya. She has been done residencies in Kenya and Sydney, Australia. She is currently taking part in the Saba Artists Residency in Lamu.