Found in Deptford: An Afternoon with Cyrus Kabiru

Cyrus Kabiru is one of the most exciting and innovative artists living and working in Kenya today. Based in Nairobi and part of the Kuona Trust, a centre for visual arts in Kenya, Kabiru is a self-taught artist who works and creates using found and recycled objects. As part of Kabiru’s first visit to the UK this workshop will offer a unique opportunity to explore an artist’s relationship with found objects as the frenetic, heady backdrop of a dynamic and important African city, Nairobi, is replaced by the bustling streets of South London. This workshop is first and foremost a chance to explore the world of found material sculpture within urban spaces. Found in Deptford will be open to all but limited to 15 participants.

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The workshop will begin in Deptford market, where the artist and resident of V22, Richard Parry will act as guide to one of London’s most vibrant and long standing markets. The market and its surrounding environs will be the site of collection for the objects to be used for the workshop which will take place at V22 in Bermondsey. Each participant, along with Richard and Cyrus will gather things to be used later in the workshop, the process of doing so providing the texture to a dialogue between, place, context and perception. The workshop seeks to explore the ways in which objects and sculpture are part of places, making comment on assumptions and perceptions as through interaction, naming and narration they can be transformed into new forms of social commentary.

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Kabiru is both a painter and a sculpture and has gained a lot of momentum most recently around his series of eyewear sculptures ‘C-Stunners’. The signature sculptures the Stunners’ are a series of wearable eyewear sculptures made from the detritus of modern life in Nairobi, each with its own specific story. These sculptures create transformational metaphors for the way Africa is perceived by itself and by the outside world and appeal to a wide and varied audience as the work crosses boundaries between art, media and fashion, the artist himself writing about the work as though it were a brand. Recently awarded a TEDGlobal fellowship 2012, Kabiru’s work is due to be exhibited in London at the Fashion Space Gallery in September and to be featured in the Africa issue of Under the Influence Magazine.

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