Interview with Sarah Schoderer on her work and life as an artist

Sarah Schoderer,  KUTEVEVA-Blurred perspectives

Name:    Sarah Schoderer

City/Country:   Frankfurt, Germany

Sarah Schoderer

Sarah Schoderer

  • Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

I have studied fine art at the art academy of Frankfurt (Städelschule) and Mainz, Germany. I am a painter and sculptor. My main emphasize is to reflect on our society today through painting and sculpting. I often compare my still life with those of the Barock time.  The Barock painter chose significant objects of his time and so do I. My paintings often reflect on art history in general.

How did the ideal of beauty develop? I work mostly in series; one series was about mundane daily objects which I painted almost in an abstract way. I was very much influenced by the pop art but I wanted to reflect in a dialectical way on our commercialized society. I used the idea of painting as a medium which gives value to the painted objects in a dialectical way to the very banal objects.

Since 2012 I have been focusing on how the idea of beauty developed and how art historically might have influenced how we look at beauty.

Here in Kenya I was very much impressed on the contrasts that I saw here, contrasts between poor and rich, modernity and tradition, etc… The works I have done here reflect in a very personal way on this impressions.

  • How did you decide to become an artist?
    I was raised in a family where everyone was into art. My father used to write poems, my mother painted and later, my step father is became a violin and piano teacher. Art was the only thing which really fascinated me, I cannot think of myself doing anything apart from art.

Sara Schoderer

  • What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
    I don´t remember, because I have spoken to so many incredible clever people, every person, doesn’t matter if they´re artists or not, have influenced me in their own way…..
  • Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
    I don´t have any answers to this…..I don´t know…..!
  • Who are some of the Nairobi/ Kenyan artists you enjoy?
    I am very new to the art scene here, so I was mostly inspired by the artists that I met at Kuona Trust. I enjoyed all of them, each in a different way…
  • If I were to follow you around to see art in Nairobi, which places would we go? What would we see?
    Kuona Trust, the Go-Down, Goethe Institute – Nairobi National Museum. Alliance Francaise
  • In addition to, 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?
    I check out galleries and museums all over the world. There is no limit!! I think the Dokumenta in Kassel/ Germany as well as the Venice Biennial are some of the most important exhibitions of contemporary art.  MOMA PS1 in New York, etc….
  • Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
    Tomorrow.  My Exhibition “KUTEVEVA-Blurred perspectives” is currently on going at the Kuona Trust gallery till the 1st of October.
Opening of Kuteveva at Kuona Trust

Open night for the exhibition Kuteveva in the Kuona Trust gallery

  • What can we expect to see from you in the future?
    Hopefully good art!!! 😉

Up close and Candid with Mike Kyalo

Mike Kyalo

Mike Kyalo is currently  on a 4 week residency programme at Kuona Trust art Centre courtesy of the Kenya Arts Diary. He talks about his work and a bit of his background history as an artist.

I am a Kenyan born artist based at the GoDown Art Centre .I specialize in painting. My primary  focus is on current issues and my interpretation  of the environment in terms of ideas and color . There is quite a bit of focus on Shadows in some of my paintings ,its intensity differs depending on what I want to achieve.

My source of inspiration is the day to day socio-economic activities affecting the society, especially men and the changes in  weather. With men my interest lies in their body language, their composition and the seriousness they portray while at work.

I have worked in dry pastels, oil , acrylic ,chalk and charcoal on paper, cardboard and canvas.

My work has been exhibited in several group exhibitions at the GoDOWN art centre, Paa ya Paa, Village, Alliance Francaise among others

 In 2012, I won second prize in the “Experiencing Heritage Through Art ” competition organized by the Nairobi National Museum, for the painting ”Utumisishi Kwa Wote” which they later added to the museum’s collection of art work. 

Art work by Mike Kyalo


Traces (1)

Traces is a one of a kind exhibition by two master print makers, Wcycliffe Opondo and Anki Kallstrom who have redefined and challenged our understanding of the age long technique. Anki’s work is an output of a two month residency programme at Kuona Trust during which she taught a workshop and had an exhibition dubbed ‘Discoveries Within’. Wycliffe is an artist currently based at Kuona Trust.

Read the artists’ biographies below.

Ann-Kristin Källström

Born 1958 in Stockholm, Swedish artist Ann-Kristin Källström has had exhibitions in Sweden, Germany, Italy, USA a o. Recently, she has spent a 2 months recidency at Kuona Trust Art Centre, Nairobi where she gave a serie of printmaking workhops and made several researchs with found objects letting her to improvise  and produce prints from the locally available resources. Through her walks, Ann-Kristin started to collect objects in the streets of Nairobi that captured her imagination and curiosity and created prints using the shape, volume and forms of these found/garbage objects.

The result of these experimentation is exceptionnal. These delicate and exquisite prints using the intaglio printmaking technique whith fabric from the Toi market (Kibera) tells us something about where we live and who we are. They are infinite marks of everyday objects inscribed in the past, they are in their fragility and mortality indirect traces of our beings.

Anki facilitating a workshop during her residency at Kuona

Anki facilitating a workshop during her residency at Kuona


Wycliffe is a self-taught artist from Nairobi. He participated in a number of exhibitions, workshops and exchanges including Sweden. For the past several years, he has been learning and using various printing techniques and became one the most skilled Kenyan artist in this field.

The images shown here are inspired by the period when the artist lived and worked in Kibera. The railway was his favorite since it symbolizes the irony of straight parallel lines cutting right through the organized chaos that makes up the slum of Kibera. These refined works shown at Le Rustique capture the environment of the people within Kibera in a very subtle way. A place that, despite many challenges, has its concealed beauty.

One of the print works done by Wycliffe Opondo

One of the print works done by Wycliffe Opondo

 The exhibition is showing at the Lerustique restaurant till the 20th of October 2013