Yony Waite (Kenyan, born in 1935)
Cameleopard in the Clearing, 1989
Signed ‘Yoniwaite’ (lower left)
Acrylic on canvas
172 x 176.5 cm
Sold Ksh 1,408,800
Provenance: direct from the artist
Yony Waite, now a Kenyan citizen, grew up on the Pacific Island of Guam. She studied Fine Art at the University of California where her mentor Richard Diebenkorn instilled in her a keen appreciation of the essential value of light. Waite then went to Japan to study the art of Sumie brush painting where she developed a great love of ink as a medium.
Waite has kept her gaze of the Kenyan wilderness at the heart of her practice, often creating compositions, as seen in Cameleopard in the Clearing, where the viewer’s vantage point is framed by thorny fauna.
Alongside her work as an artist, Waite has been instrumental in establishing various art institutions in Kenya, most notably as co-founder of Gallery Watatu in 1968 which was sold to Ruth Shaffner in 1984. She went on to establish Wilderbeeste Workshops and Mkonokono women’s group in Lamu were she still lives. Waite received a Rockefeller Grant to create a large-scale work to be exhibited at the Rio Biodiversity Summit of 1992.
Waite has a strong international following and has exhibited extensively in Japan, USA and Kenya.