Yony Waite (Kenyan, born 1936)
Untitled I and Untitled II, circa 2002-2005
Untitled 1, signed ‘Yony Waite’ (lower left), Untitled ll signed ‘Jony Waite’ (lower right)
Watercolour on paper
38 x 56 cm and 35 x 25.5 cm
Sold Ksh 88,050
Provenance: private collection
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.
These influences are exemplified in Waite’s paintings of trees, a subject she has explored over many years and locations. These two works, bought from Gallery Watatu in the early 2000s, are impressions of the dramatic Kenyan bush.
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 the Mkonokono women’s group in Lamu where she still lives.
Waite has a strong international following and has exhibited extensively in Japan, the USA and Kenya.