Fikiria - Art from Kibera, Kenya

TUESDAY 18th & WEDNESDAY 19th DECEMBER

Online art gallery WallWorks will present the UK premiere of works by a group of young artists from Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum, on 18 and 19 December at the Parabola Arts Centre in Cheltenham. The exhibition, presented in collaboration with the Uweza Foundation (www.uwezakenya.org), has been planned and curated by Hannah Wall (Taylor, CLC pupil 1994-2001), with all funds from the sale of works supporting the Kenyan charity. 

The Uweza Foundation was founded in 2008 by Jen Sapitro and president of the Board of Directors is the American actress, Rooney Mara. It works with Kenyan children and youth from age five and upwards to empower them to pursue a path to a better future through the discovery and development of their talents.  The Uweza Art Gallery operates from a repurposed shipping container located at a crossroads in Kibera and provides students with a space to create and sell their own original artwork. The sale proceeds from the artwork are split between the artists, who use the income to fund their education and living expenses, and the charity, to enable them to continue their work. 

Hannah Wall conceived the exhibition following a visit to Kibera and the Uweza Art Gallery in 2016. She was introduced to the charity by her sister, Jennie Taylor (CLC 1996 - 2003), who sits on the board of trustees. Hannah has since founded WallWorks, which sources unique, affordable art from around the world available for purchase online.

At the private view on 18 December at 6.30pm a short documentary film about the artists and their work, commissioned from Gloucestershire-based TallWall Media, will be shown. The exhibition will then be open to the public from 10am to 4pm on 19 December 2018, accompanied by free art activities for pre and primary school children on themes inspired by the work of Kibera’s Young Artists. All 25 artworks will be available to purchase, with prices ranging from approximately £50 to £250. The artworks are predominantly acrylic on canvas and have been produced by young artists who range in age from 13 to 27. 

Japheth Okoth, Uweza Foundation's Country Director commented, “It is an honour for Uweza Art Gallery to be able to showcase its artwork in the UK. Our artists are really excited to share their paintings with the rest of the world. Using art as a tool to break the cycle of poverty and to nurture artistic talent is a core focus of our work in Kibera and we are grateful for the support." 

"Fikiria - Art from Kibera" is at the Parabola Arts Centre in Cheltenham from Tuesday 18 to Wednesday 19 December. If you would like an invitation to the Private View, please contact Hannah contact@wall-works.com or for more information, please see http://www.wall-works.com