For those of you who haven’t had a chance as yet to stop by to see the current exhibition in the Kuona Gallery – ‘A Golden State Of Mind’ by Brian Kivuti – the exhibition has been extended into the first week of November! Meanwhile here’s an exclusive interview with Brian about his current work, his plans for the future and his journey as an artist.
‘A Golden State of Mind’ is an exhibition by treasure maker, Brian Kivuti, presented as an installation; combining art photography, video and sculpture. However, as a project study, it seeks to experiment, and introduce the treasure maker to the Nairobi arts scene. This is currently exhibiting at the Kuona Trust Gallery, and initiative which the artist envisions will lead up to a full exhibition at the Nairobi National Museum in December 2012.
Name: Brian Kivuti
City/Country: Nairobi, Kenya
Brian Kivuti lives and works in Nairobi, working as a treasure maker; practicing installation art, artist jewellery, story telling and poetry.
- Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I’m currently working as an installation artist, bringing together various skills in the fine arts to create much more thematic/conceptual works. It’s actually what I’ve always wanted to do for some years now! I do call myself a treasure maker as it covers most of my skills; one of which is jewellery & silversmithing (which I was originally trained in), and will begin practicing again soon alongside everything else.
- How did you decide to become an artist?
Long ago, when the spirit of puberty shone bright. It was a long time coming, but only really made the decision during university.
- What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
There’s been lots of good advice, but now that you ask, it would be “Just do it.” … if not that little piece, it would be “Show me, don’t tell me.”
- Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art. How do you sell your work? How do you market yourself?
That’s a very good question. I don’t think I have an answer yet!
I can say though, that most of anything important that has happened for me, has been as a direct result of conversation (among other things). I find it important on many levels to put myself out their and engage with others genuinely, as opposed to marketing.
- Who are some of the Nairobi/ Kenyan artists you enjoy?
Mmm… Patrick Mukabi would be top of the list! I do as well really enjoy Tonney Mugo’s mind. I’m relatively new to the Nairobi art scene, so am in the process of discovering it. I don’t think that will end.
- If I were to follow you around to see art in Nairobi, which places would we go? What would we see?
Kuona Trust, The GoDown occasionally, Goethe Institute – Nairobi National Museum! How could I forget that one! They’ve got an inspiring bird collection, and currently an artist who’s name I sadly can’t remember. I’m relatively new to the Nairobi art scene, so am slowly discovering it’s nooks and cranny’s. You’ll most likely see me tagging along with a friend to some newly discovered location.
- In addition to www.kuonatrust.org, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?
Tumblr & Facebook. Honestly, I wish I could honestly say more than that. That will change now though.
- Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
YEAH! ‘A Golden State of Mind’, an installation exhibition to be held at the Nairobi National Museum this December. It is what this project study is leading up to. Do watch this space though, there definitely will be more.
- What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Bigger, more elaborate installation exhibitions/projects, jewellery and many pieces from different disciplines… as well as story telling.