Hi there beautiful people! 😀 It’s good to be back after a short, one-week break… Thank you for your kind patience.
It was a much-needed timeout to get my head back in the right space. 🙂 I felt encouraged through the dear people I ran into, in different yet unexpected ways, who affirmed that they do read the blog. Yaay!😀🕺🏼 💃🏻
Sometimes, it’s easy to feel like I am rambling to myself on, this here, my small piece of the internet. So each time you tell me ‘I read your blog!’ it goes a long way! 😀
And, as promised, here’s a special shout out to all my ‘silent readers’ who read faithfully week on week… Though I may not ‘see’ you, I know you are there, and I love you all the same. 😌
So, if today you are touched to leave a comment saying ‘you are there’, here’s a High-Five for you in advance! 👋🏽👋🏽 😀
That said, I am excited to share this little archive piece on Diani Beach Art Gallery… from our November travels.
Exploring Diani Beach Art Gallery
Art brings imagination to life ~ Robert Lee Munoz
A Little Backstory…
A while ago, an old friend asked me to recommend a nice Art Gallery in Mombasa. At the time, I had no clue what art-life in at the Coast is like, yet it did well to trigger my curiosity.
Moreover, our art experience at Inema Art Centre in Rwanda was amazing, and I was pretty excited to get a feel of Art-life at the Coast!
< P.S. You can read about Inema HERE>
So when we traveled to Diani, curiosity led us right to the doors of Diani Beach Art Gallery. 🙂
How to Get There
Diani Beach Art Gallery is a Contemporary African Arts gallery, conveniently located at Diani Beach Shopping Centre, in Ukunda, about 30Km south of Mombasa.
If you are traveling from your hotel, find out whether they can organize a drop-off to and fro. We opted to take a Tuktuk, as it’s one of the most affordable ways to travel in these parts.
- From the Likoni ferry, it is quite a distance so you may want to use the cheaper option of Matatus, or Public Service vehicles, to Ukunda town then hail a Tuktuk to the gallery.
- Taxis tend to overcharge hotel clients, so do find out in advance how much the trip would typically cost, if you wish to take a taxi. It was quite interesting to see less than 5 Uber vehicles on the Uber app, with their cost being the highest in comparison. This may have improved since then.
- If you get lost, smile and call Diani Beach Art Gallery, for directions as they are super helpful, and will easily direct you. 🙂
A Fusion of Coastal Hospitality & African Artiness
Walking into the gallery, we received a warm, coastal welcome from Zaina, our hostess for the day.
My eyes were immediately drawn to the unique art pieces and moldings that embellish the spacious art gallery. I was dying to learn more about the pieces, and the artists behind them. 😀
Having explained our mission, Zaina was more than thrilled to show us around. Her vast knowledge of the art pieces, and their respective creators, was rather impressive.
They stock art from different African countries beyond Kenya like Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Malawi and then some! It was fascinating how well the artworks brought out the qualities of various African cultures.
PHOTOGRAPH BY: WANJIKU THUO
For instance, you can identify the Ugandan pieces from their use of bold and bright colors which fits in well with their exuberant culture.
My mouth was literally agape half the time! 😀 The artists’ creativity in their application of various materials used is genius, to say they least…
As Zaina so aptly put it ‘You have to be eccentric to be an artist!’
Particularly, this piece depicting Kanye West created from broken discs was mind-blowing! You find yourself bending and distorting your body in all kinds of angles, up close and far, just to see the picture as a whole!
You can tell that the artists put in a lot of work and thought into their pieces… They each seek to tell a story, portraying the different issues that are relevant to them and society.
Thanks to our interaction with Zaina I learned so much about art and how to look at artworks, while keeping in mind that art is subjective.
Art makes one worse than a curious cat… You want to crawl into the mind of an artist, if only to get a glimpse of their thoughts as they were working on a masterpiece…. Yet, to learn that you can never ever fully grasp it, is the true beauty of art.
Support of Local Artists
Moreover, I was impressed by the gallery’s initiatives to support the artists that they work with.
For instance, they help Artists to determine best ways to cost their pieces. They also refresh artworks in the gallery on a quarterly basis, by requesting their artists to provide new artwork.
I was happy to learn that they participate in regular Exhibitions in Nairobi. Here, they showcase various artworks as well as live, interactive painting sessions. Furthermore, they have a catalogue that features the pieces in the gallery.
Artists who’re interested in exhibiting at Diani Beach Gallery can reach out to them with examples of their work. The key thing is to produce creative, unique artworks, not duplicates.
They’ve had pieces purchased by prominent people such as the Queen of Bahrain, hence it can be a lucrative opportunity. 😊
An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision ~ James Whistler
Many thanks to Diani Beach Art Gallery, and to Zaina for giving us an excellent, eye-opening tour.
I look forward to exploring Art-life in Nairobi, so if you know any amazing art projects and galleries, be sure to share in the Comments’ section below and I will check them out. 😀
Thanks for reading my dear friends! Did you like this post? I would love to hear from you! 😀 Leave a comment/question/suggestion below and I will be certain to respond! 🙂
•Sending You Light & Love. Stay Inspired Always• 😀