Sankara - James Muriuki & Miriam Syowia Kyambi
James Muriuki is a Nairobi based art practitioner who has primarily used photography and lens-based media in his work. His practice constantly revolves around the transition of society through specific objects that are often the extension of personal and communal bearings. His works explore the confluence of inter-dependent happenings in an ever-changing social landscape. He uses forms such as architecture and constructions as visual elements and metaphorical symbols that are an illustration of human capacity, desire and aspirations.
He is also interested in experimenting with and investigating the potential of images, specifically photography and motion, video, sound as mediums and processes of making art and ultimately as a knowledge reservoirs and transmission channels. He has curated several exhibitions individually and collaboratively in Nairobi and abroad related to the same subjects/ themes. In the past, he has held positions in management of the arts and has taken a leading role in using photography not only as a medium of complementing other mediums but also as a tool of communication and social transition.
James’ work has been exhibited and collected in many countries and included in several publications. He has collaborated with artists, attended residencies and workshops in several countries as well as being a grants recipient. He has been commissioned to use photography in many capacities including training of photographers, development of photography exhibitions, curating and photo installations in commercial and office spaces.
Miriam Syowia Kyambi
Miriam Syowia Kyambi (b.1979) is a multi-media artist of Kenyan and German heritage based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work combines performance with impermanent and permanent mediums including clay, sisal, paint and photography. Much of her work dissects and brings to question perception and memory. She examines how the contemporary human experience is influenced by constructed history, past and present violence, colonialism, family and sexuality.
Often the result is an orchestration that engages the viewer in a dynamic process that leaves behind a powerful visual impression.
Syowia graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, USA (2002) where she resided for five years before returning to Kenya in 2003.
She has been the recipient of several prestigious awards and grants including 2nd place in the UNESCO Award for the Promotion of the Arts; the Art in Global Health Grant from the Welcome Trust Fund in United Kingdom; a grant from Mexico’s External Ministry of Affairs; and commissions by the Kenya Institute of Administration, the National Museums of Kenya and the Art 4 Action Foundation in Kenya. Her work has been shown in Belgium, Finland, Kenya, Mali, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States of America.
Preview of Works
Click thumbnail to enlarge and scroll through all images