Peterson Kamwathi P(a)lace Exhibition
Peterson Kamwathi’s artistic practice has been on communal social, economic and cultural engagements in contemporary society. In his work he explores physicality, modes of behavior, embedded symbolism and likely meanings that can be extracted from human groupings, social customs and collective political/religious patterns.
Kamwathi’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues around the world and he was part of the Kenya National Pavilion at 57th Edition of the Venice Biennale in 2017. He has also participated in the Young Congo Biennale 2019 in Kinshasa, Congo DRC and the 8th edition of the AKE Art and Books Festival 2020 in Lagos. His work is included in the art collections of Safaricom, the British Museum, Bates College of Art Museum, The EAVAT collection, The World Bank Headquarters among others. He lives in Limuru, Kenya.
‘P(a)lace’ is the 2nd part of the ‘Noble savage’ series. This series looks at the place that an individual inhabits within a collective and the likely perceptions emerging as a result of this positioning. The person within a group constitutes the most basic part. Ideally, the space of each member is a result of consensus. This then informs the effectiveness of any group. The objectives of the group are meant to align with and also serve the potent vehicle for member concerns - in any absolute context. I use ‘Noble Savage’ as the arena in which to explore conditions that include habitation and the rights of movement, contemporary collective causes, embedded historical mis-representation through the device of monument making and cartography, historical figures in the colonial experiment and socio/religious rituals. In this body of work, I concede that despite mostly being cloaked by the similitude, complexity and spectacle of the group, the individual still remains its most potent, emblematic and dynamic part.
P(a)lace is an exploration of the contentions around the small space occupied by the constituent member of a group. ‘Group’ in this instance ranges from family to the human race. This revolves around the place of individual expression juxtaposed against the conforming to collectives’ goals and rituals. I have embedded parts of my own contortions and adjustments to the COVID-19 public health protocols and restrictions as the stage with which to explore this concept. The work is also a recognition of the current situation where private space; even within the public sphere, has been elevated as a measure to mitigate the pandemic. This is through the devices of delineation and signage. P(a)lace is a structure for human habitation and activity. It goes beyond the basics of protection of man from the elements and marking geography, onto being a symbol of power and collective intrigues.
More on Peterson Kamwathi
EastAfrican - 15-12-2018 - An exaltation of the human spirit…
Business Daily - 06-12-2018 - Kamwathi’s Dream-like Art at One Off Gallery
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.