I am Fauna, I am Flora II by Moira Bushkimani, 2019, 31-1/2 in x 23-5/8 in (80 x 60 cm), printed on 300gsm archival paper in a studio in Berlin (Artificial image.
I am Fauna is the acceptance that I am an animal with very real needs, the highest being to preserve my life (depicted as ‘blood’ in a fragile bulb).
Kenyan multimedia artist Moira BushKimani was born in 1990. She discovered her love for art early in an environment where creativity was met by resources. In her metallic, fabric and acrylic collages, she explores themes around masks as a social necessity in the world we live in today. From childhood she had been fascinated with using what adults termed as “useless” often going treasure hunting in trash heaps with friends in search of interesting objects. Using fire tinted beer cans hammered onto board, she creates scenes and characters that describe the various experiences that put together our crudely yet carefully created masks. She sources most of her materials from trash heaps, particularly the Masaai lodge hotel dump in her neighborhood. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, she uses seed pods, seeds and feathers among other materials to create miniature surreal realms and characters that she photographs and turns into digital art. She currently works and resides along the edge of the Nairobi National park off Magadi road.
Her work seeks to explore the relationships between humans and the various created roles we play-out amongst ourselves. This is where her fascination with masks comes in. In our society, we are taught through coercion (reward/punishment) how to assemble acceptable masks for the various scenarios that are almost universal to the 21st century human. Though we are no longer exposed to the natural dangers and predators, we are exposed to our fellow man in a cannibalistic arena where multiple masks are created for our social survival. Through her art, she seeks to create masks that unmask and free the individual. This takes place across mediums where she create scenes that depict states of mind and attempt to create new and personal mythologies that touch on the nostalgia for a connection to ourselves and to the natural world that has been driven to the peripheral mind.
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