‘Mysterious, sensuous and sinuous lines’; ‘deeply rooted in African Culture’; ‘strongly maternal and reminiscent of Mother Earth’: all descriptions which come to mind when speaking of Chelenge’s sculptures and most recently, her woodcut plates. Pre-occupied with the dilemmas of human relationships her anthropomorphic treatment of Gorillas provides a convenient vehicle for a thorough exploration of these issues.
Born in 1960 in Eldoret, Chelenge is widely acknowledged to be among the most significant of the Kenyan female sculptresses. Turning to fine art at the age of twenty five when her children started school, her first tentative venture in the form of paintings had her hiding them under the bed. Once discovered by her husband the game was up and she rose to recognition through the support of Nairobi’s premier gallery of the day: Gallery Watatu.
Selection of works
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September 2013 - "Gorillas On My Mind", One Off Contemporary Art Gallery, Nairobi, Kenya
Chelenge’s works exist in numerous collections in Kenya including an extensive inventory at Sankara Hotel.
Notably, she has held a number of successful solo exhibitions in Japan and at home in Kenya.
EastAfrican - 3-10-2013 - Visions of a more peaceful and kinder world
The Star - 02-10-2013 - Gorillas on my mind exhibition opens
Jua Kali Diary, Margaretta Wa Gachuru - 12-09-2013 - Chalenge van Rampelberg: Kenya's first female sculptor
Chelenge van Rampelberg is exclusively represented in East Africa by One Off