Annabelle Wanjiku (Kenyan, born 1963)
Signed ‘ANNABELLE 2000’ (lower left)
Acrylic and charcoal on canvas
104.5 x 71 cm
Sold Ksh 234,800
Provenance: direct from the artist
Annabelle Wanjiku was one of Ruth Schaffner’s most celebrated Gallery Watatu artists. She used to travel from Diani, at the coast, to show her work to and be mentored by Schaffner, who considered her one of the most interesting female artists of her generation in Kenya. She has lived in Uganda for the last 11 years.
Wanjiku became a single mother extremely young and says that this period of hardship and rejection taught her about love and has influenced the subject of all her paintings: the importance of family life, co-existence and bringing people together. Her love of humanity and nature can be seen in the joyful merging of people, birds, dogs and other animals.
Her homegrown, impasto technique of laying paint on canvas, involves mixing and creating her own paints using clay and natural pigments alongside traditional artist paint. Her work has featured in group and solo exhibitions since the early 1980s in Kenya, Uganda, Germany, the USA and Japan. Wanjiku remains one of Nairobi’s legends from the post-Independence era.