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Kenyan artists commissioned to beautify Garden City

Thursday October 16 2014

Artist Peterson Kamwathi's study of monument at on display at the Muthaiga residence of Belgian Ambassador to Kenya, Bart Ouvry and his wife Carine.

Artist Peterson Kamwathi's study of monument at on display at the Muthaiga residence of Belgian Ambassador to Kenya, Bart Ouvry and his wife Carine. Photo/FILE 

Garden City has confirmed Peterson Kamwathi and Maggie Otieno as the first participants in its pioneering public art programme.

Each artist will create a specially designed work for permanent display in the Garden City Mall and Garden City Park. 

Eight Kenyan artists were shortlisted by Nairobi-based Circle Art Agency to complete and install their works ahead of the Garden City launch in 2015.

Circle Art Agency director Danda Jarolimek said that “urban environments should be enhanced by well-considered artworks that relate to the social and cultural experiences of the viewer”. 

Mr Kamwathi is a popular Kenyan contemporary artist whose work combines provocative social commentary with technical aptitude and innovation.

His artwork has been shown in Kenya, the UK, the US, Holland, Austria, El Salvador and Finland.

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Mr Kamwathi’s series of steel sculptures, Viewfinders, is composed of twelve brightly painted eight-by-four-foot metal panels representing the different residents of Nairobi. The sculptures will be positioned within the three-acre Garden City Park, close to the open-air auditorium. 

The other artist, Ms Otieno, has been working as an artist for the past 18 years. Her interest in sculpture began in 1996 after she joined Nairobi’s Kuona Trust Centre for Visual Arts.

She is no stranger to public art and has completed multiple projects around Nairobi. Ms Otieno’s free-standing sculpture, Gate Keepers, will be located at the main entrance of the Garden City Mall.

Constructed from wood and metal, the installation comprises eight stylised human forms interacting with each other.

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