Miriam Syowia Kyambi and James Muriuki
Location: Kilifi and Nairobi, Kenya
Research Centre: KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research
“I am primarily an installation artist living
and working in Nairobi. My current interest is exploring personal
relationships to cultural ideas using art. My themes explore
historical and social issues around identity: intertwining the use
of public and personal spaces. The concept of loss and longing
remains a recurring theme, layered within my multimedia
approach – creating tactile works loaded with emotional
responses. I am keen on further developing traditional knowledge
using contemporary methodologies.” Miriam Syowia Kyambi
“Experimenting with photo-based and new
digital media, I have taken a strong interest in the transitions of
time and space reflected by contemporary society. Transition time
is decision time, when the known disintegrates and the unknown
starts to identify. These transitions occur rapidly in some aspects
and over generations in other instances. Art presents an
alternative investigative tool and reveals views of these moments
in a personal yet recognisable narrative. My recent projects
have been looking at transitions in Kenya using the city as a
reference.” James Muriuki
While in residence, Syowia and James will
collaborate on investigating how health researchers and the
involved community depend on and perceive one another. The outcomes
of their residency will include an exhibition, curated by Sam Hopkins.
"To have the scientists feel what being researched on is like. So the tables are a bit reversed."
"When you have fun and when you play is when some of that really interesting stuff comes out."
Recordings made by Miriam and James shortly after holding an open photography studio session in Kilifi town. The session invited members of the local community to have their portrait taken using various props provided by the artists.
James Muriuki and Miriam Syowia Kyambi’s exhibition ‘Layers: perceptions and interaction between scientists and communities’ was at the National Nairobi Museum from 10–31 December 2012.
Syowia and James began their residency in
Kyambi’s CV [PDF, 123KB]
Muriuki’s CV [PDF, 152KB]
Images: James Muriuki. Photo © Megumi Matsubara, 2011; Miriam Syowia Kyambi.
Photo © James Muriuki, 2011