Annabelle Wanjiku (Kenyan, born 1963)
Beautiful Africa Girl, 2001
Signed ‘ANNABELLE 01’ (lower right)
Woodcut print on paper (Edition 3/3)
47.2 x 31.9 cm
Ksh 60,000 – 100,000 ARR
(US$) 630 – 1,050
Provenance: Private collection

Sold Ksh 105,660

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 moved to Uganda over a decade ago.

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 her joyful painting using an impasto technique of laying paint on canvas and creating her own paints using clay and natural pigments. This work is a rare woodcut print which was probably made during an artist workshop in Nairobi.

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.