Sunday morning is normally the day of choice for us to change out our revolving exhibition at Air Kenya. We prepare everything in advance,including all the price tags and load the pick-up at 6.45am. I find that if I leave Rosslyn by 7am on a Sunday it only takes 25 minutes to do what can be a two to three hour trip to Wilson Airport on a week day. We can then re-hang the show and be back in time to open the gallery at Lone Tree by 11am. Last Sunday was the day!
My friend, Ferny Verwiel is involved in something very wonderful; she organizes art workshops in Kamiti Medium and Maximum security prisons. Up to now her efforts have been self funded but she has approached us to see if we can help support her efforts in some way and I have promised to spread the word.
Almost everyone who has visited One Off's Loft space in the last few months has been amazed at the extent of our stock which is squashed into such a small area. Things came to a head with the mounting of Sophie Walbeoffe's show, which is our current exhibition. We needed more space and with a week to play with, we decided that the tack room was a perfect intimate space for Sophie's smaller works. We called in a shop fitter, a painter and an electrician and voila, a week later, the annex was born!
I hope you will come and see for yourselves. So far our new space has been warmly received and plans are well advanced to make a much bigger extension to the available hanging space. We'll keep you updated.
These two photographs were taken a number of months ago from the window in front of my desk at the gallery. We have been the exceptionally lucky hosts of a little family of five Colobus monkeys for a number of years. First there was one and then very quickly there were two. After that we seem to have had a tiny addition to the family at regular intervals. The Colobus family are a delight to have on our property not least because they are outstanding night guards; they roar if anyone passes near their 'sleeping tree'. They are also priceless entertainers, putting on mini acrobatic displays for visitors and inevitably swinging down to the Eucalyptus trees to check out any clients visiting the gallery.
And then almost the moment I took these photographs, they disappeared. I became increasingly worried that with all the ongoing development around us, they had become inconvenient for someone, but then two weeks ago a single male Colobus started to make regular visits to our trees and this amounted to even bigger worry for us. We wondered if he was somehow the sole survivor of some nasty incident? What on earth could have happened to 'our family'?
Then yesterday, the perfect Christmas gift; I looked into the trees at dawn and the whole family were diving from branch to branch. What a joy to have everyone back!
Anyone visiting One Off knows that they will be greeted by our four dogs. What you may not know is that the compound hosts Dog training classes almost every Saturday from 9am to 10am. Originally from America, Amy Rapp is our experienced dog trainer. She has a number of programmes including home visits, puppy classes, and agility training along with her 're-homing' and 'trap, neuter, release programs'.
We will also be seeking some corporate sponsorship to underwrite the production costs. Please watch this space for more updates and make contact with us if you can contribute to this worthwhile initiative.
Every Wednesday from 8.30 am to 9.45 am the lower gallery at One Off is converted into a Yoga Studio.
Indian Yogi, Gopinath (known as Gopi) teaches a variety of Yoga poses to a small group of avid enthusiasts.
The classes are aimed at an intermediate level and are not for the advanced student.
We are actively seeking more participants and anyone interested should contact Gopi directly:
Call 0703 633408 or 0786 575088
New students should wear loose clothing and should bring their own mat.
Peter Elungat and Olivia Pendergast's exhibition opened on Sunday 31st August to a highly appreciative audience.
Many of the artist's peers attended, including some of Kenya's biggest names; Richard Kimathi, Anthony Okello, Kamal Shah, Bertiers, Peter Ngugi, Shabu Mwangi, Yassir Ali, Florence Wangui, Maggie Otieno, Dale Webster, John Kamicha and Thom Ogonga. We were also exceptionally honoured to enjoy the company of the Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya, HE David Angell.
Got back from having coffee at the National Muesum with Yony Wai^te and James Muriuki - a follow-on from a magical visit to Yony's studio on the Athi Plains last week. I feel I've come full circle on this one.
When I first worked as a designer in Kenya 33 years ago, I was sent to commission Yony to do a 20 foot long mural for Samburu Lodge. Yony decided to paint the canvas whilst staying in a tiny apartment in California and so she never had a full impression of her output because the canvas had to wind round a few corners and through a couple of rooms. She then decided to transport it back to Kenya wrapped around her huge new desk-top computer.
As curator of a Fine Art Gallery for almost 21 years, I've met some highly original people and found myself in some unusual situations. I hope you enjoy my day to day adventures of running One Off Gallery in Nairobi, Kenya.