The aim of my work is to appreciate and give value to the women of Kenya and the roles that they play. By choosing not to accept the values that are accepted in society as the norm, and deciding to investigate the life as it is, these brave women emerge as central in the small elements that make up the bigger picture.
My intention was not to look at the women of Kenya as the ‘other’ or the ‘lesser’; rather I wanted to learn from them and, at the same time, give back. Since I am from Kenya, I am connected to these women, but I have traveled and my eyes have been opened. This has allowed me to see that what should be celebrated is what often goes forgotten.
My artwork is colourful because I developed my eye from a young age while growing up in Kenya, so I gravitate towards bold colours. I also chose such colours because, having explored some of the traumatic history of subjugation past and present, I wanted to bring light and reflect the positivity of those women, celebrating them through colour.
In addition to the vibrancy of colour, I have also chosen to focus on high heels in many of my art designs. High heels are symbolic of the fact that daily reality grows from the soles of the feet up. I have selected an object that jars with the daily reality of these women, and an object that is so often associated with femininity. These women would never wear high heels to carry their heavy loads; it is the exact opposite of what they would wear. In this regard, the heels represent the subjugation of women, and the clash of female strength with social expectations.
By researching their everyday lives, my work has highlighted the cultural values of women in Kenya, and the influence of history upon their daily realities.