Beatrice Wanjiku

Beatrice was born at Ngong Hills, near Nairobi in 1978. She received her diploma from Nairobi's Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts in 2000 and is now a rising star on the Kenyan contemporary art scene.

 

Her works to date fall into four distinct phases, starting with the 'Mortality' series. Following the death of her mother to whom she was quite close, she spent many grieving hours sorting through her mother's personal belongings. In her work of this period, she explores questions of mortality, immortality and identity arising from the experience of her profound loss.

 

In her next phase, X-ray prints appear as if she is attempting to peer into the very soul of her subject. There is a recurring theme through much of her later work, which sometimes show a sense of urgency and frustration, and the need to strip away the carapace of the facade or to touch the tenderness of an internal reality; at times her work echoes an easement to acceptance and understanding this truth.

 

The third phase bears the influences of her three month residency in Vermont, USA. The 'Occupy' movement was entrenched in Wall Street at the time. A collage of newspaper clippings and icons of America are layered into the canvases she produced during this period.

 

The last phase continues the search for the soul. With weeping teeth, internal conflict and titles such as 'The Strangeness of My Madness', it admits to being an introspection of an altogether more personal nature.