James Mbuthia Visual Memories Exhibition
One Off Gallery is proud to host another show by James Mbuthia titled 'Visual Memories'. The show documents the effects of the pandemic on the psyche of this hard working artist over a three year period. Painting with mostly oil paint, at the beginning of the Pandemic, he produced unusually pared down versions of his former optimistic visions of his surroundings. He says these were heavily influenced by the shock of the initial announcements surrounding the Pandemic. His brightly coloured portrayals of idealism are replaced with screaming faces and masks. He says he was painting his feelings of fear at the overnight evaporation of all that we value in our 'normal world'. He felt that he was surrounded by an asphyxiating unseen enemy. His mind was numb. As time passed and the Covid 19 death rates begun to reduce, so his work started to return to the former visions of well-being for which he has always been known.
James Mbuthia was born in Banana Hill, Kiambu District, Kenya - home to an extraordinary concentration of artists. His artistic skills are entirely self-taught. He is intensely creative in a variety of media and prolifically so in oil on canvas. He draws inspiration from his own experiences.
Colour is arguably the most important element of Mbuthia's work. Together with his early mentor, Mary Collis, he possesses a natural attribute known as Synesthesia: when he hears sound, he sees a colour. He uses colour to richly depict emotion; his dreams; political commentary and the general ambience of rural life surrounding his home. His creativity is also evident in the small sculptures, woodcut prints and installation pieces he makes from recycled materials.
Mbuthia is the founder and workshop coordinator of Art Without Borders Kenya. His initiative facilitates a team of artists to bring art to children living in the slums and childrens' homes and to those confined to the Spinal Injury Hospital and the paediatric wards of Kenyatta National Hospital.
He has traveled to both France and the USA to participate in workshops and has been exhibited in Korea, Germany, Tanzania, USA, Paraguay and extensively in Kenya
More on James Mbuthia
Preview of Works
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Exhibition openings are usually on the last Saturday of every month, excluding December. The gallery remains open on Sundays allowing anyone who missed the opening to catch the exhibition the next day. Do join our mailing list so we can send you an invitation.