Circle Art Auction 2015 Lot 12 Tabitha Wa Thuku

Tabitha Wa Thuku (Kenyan, born 1963)
Relaxing Nude from the series Nude Measure, 2003
Signed ‘tabitha wa thuku’ (lower left)
Oil and smoke pigment on paper
57.5 x 47 cm

Ksh 90,000-120,000
(US$ 820-1,090)
Sold Ksh 187,840

Provenance: direct from the artist

Born in the year of independence, Tabitha Wa Thuku began her creative practice as a young self-taught artist and one of the only female artists of her generation.

From 1996-1999 she attended the Buru Buru Institute of Fine Arts and has undertaken various workshops to develop a wide range of techniques, demonstrated in her extensive body of work.

This early work on paper is one of Wa Thuku’s first paintings of nude figures. The artist explains that she had wanted to create this work as ‘the life study’ is often seen as the measure of an artist. As she did not have access to a model, she instead made a depiction of an imagined scenario; that one day all mitumba (second hand clothes that have come to be favoured over traditional clothing) walked away, leaving the people bare.

Wa Thuku has exhibited regularly throughout her career in Kenya and abroad, including in the Netherlands, Italy, Hong Kong and Denmark. She is also represented in private and public collections in Kenya, including at the National Museum and in the Safaricom collection.