Just a flower

AUSTINE ADIKA: R’N'B, WANJOHI MAINA: HAWKERS’ REPUBLIC, NGUGI WAWERU: MBINGUNI KUME PASUKA

13 Mar 2024 - 30 Mar 2024

Presentation

Austine Adika (b.1986), Wanjohi Maina (b.1986) and Ngugi Waweru (b.1987) present three exciting bodies of work, ingenious in their working methods, aesthetic strategies and use of material, each reflecting a distinct sculptural language. 

Austine Adika is interested in how everyday materials can be transformed, responding to ever-changing stages in nature, and pushing ideas of what are acceptable aesthetics. Embedding new meaning onto discarded ephemera from his environment; using carrier bags (colloquially referred to as 'Uhuru bags'), upcycled UV ink cans from print shops on River Road, and other found materials, Adika forms charming narrative style sculptures and tapestries. 

Wanjohi Maina's Hawkers' Republic is an ongoing and expanding series that documents and mythologises the working lives of street vendors in Nairobi. Forged out of steel plates, and meticulously spray painted to depict moments of commerce often tuned out in Nairobi's ubiquitous traffic jams, Wanjohi Maina's sculptures invite a slower, considered engagement with the people in the work and their wares, and the social and financial conditions that sustain this micro-economy.

Ngugi Waweru, one of the founders of Wajukuu Artists collective, assembles impressive wall-sculptures using worn out knives, corrugated iron sheets, motorcycle chains, iron bars, and binding copper wire. This body of work is inspired by the Kikuyu proverb, 'kahio kugi gatemaga o mwene', which translates to 'a sharp knife cuts the owner' is a pointed and timely critique of a 'capitalist growth and development' rhetoric that privileges over-consumption often at the cost of the interconnected relationships of human beings with each other and the earth we inhabit. "When you have a knife and you want it to work better and faster, you sharpen it, but at the same time you consume it."

Source : https://circleartagency.com/exhibitions/63-austine-adika-rn-b-wanjohi-maina-hawkers-republic-ngugi-circle-art-gallery/