Artists: Morris Foit, Peterson Kamwathi, Elias Mung’ora, Paul Njihia
Common Ground brings together artworks by four artists active in Kenya today, featuring depictions of social groups, specifically students, uniformed officers, protesters, and family. In these works, each of the artists considers the behaviour of these groups as a unit and their relationships with the physical and social spaces they inhabit.
Comprised of drawing, painting and sculpture, the exhibition highlights artworks that were created within the last decade. Among them are a large-scale drawing by Peterson Kamwathi from 2012, and a recently completed group of sculptures by Morris Foit, both of which form part of the NCAI collection. Alongside these is a significant painting by Elias Mung'ora from 2017, and a selection of artworks from an ongoing series by Paul Njihia.
© Peterson Kamwathi, The Border (detail) 2012
In his practice Peterson Kamwathi attends to various communal, social, economic and cultural stances within contemporary society. He explores physical presence, modes of behaviour, embedded symbolisms and latent meanings that are present in, and can be deduced 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 Arts and Book Festival,Lagos, in 2020. His work is part of the collections of Safaricom, the British Museum, the Bates College of Art Museum, The East African Visual Arts Trust, the World Bank headquarters among others. He lives in Limuru- Kenya.
© Elias Mung'ora, Footprints, 2017
Born in Nyeri, Elias Mung’ora initially studied real estate and property management before changing course to pursue a career as an artist. He works predominantly in painting, combining it with other mediums such as drawing and photo collage.
His practice is a tool with which to explore the complex and multiple histories of his home country with a specific interest in the history of land and how people’s relationships with it have been influenced by colonialism.
Mung’ora has been an active member of Brush Tu Artist Studio since 2015. He was an Absa L’Atelier finalist in 2017 and has participated in exhibitions in Kenya, South Africa, Italy, the USA, and France. He is currently a student of anthropology at the University of Nairobi.