Yony Waite (Kenyan)
Hippo’s River, 2008

signed (lower right)
acrylic on linen
52 x 69cm
Ksh 200,000–250,000
US$ 2,270–2,870
Sold Ksh 352,200

Provenance: Private Collection

Waite’s long relationship with Kenya – she is a naturalized citizen – began in the 1960s when she arrived and felt an immediate affinity with its land and people. Waite studied art at the University of California with Richard Diebenkorn, and then in Japan she mastered a form of nature painting with ground charcoal under legendary artist, Sanshiro Ikeda. As seen in this painting, she drew on all these influences in her response to Kenya’s wildlife and dramatic landscapes. Alongside her work as an artist, Waite has been instrumental in establishing various art institutions in Kenya, most notably as a 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 has a strong international following and has exhibited extensively in Japan, the U.S. and Kenya.