Visual Arts

Two-tiered auction: Group raises cash to safeguard Nairobi Park


Jjuuko Hoods’ Herd of Hyena at FONNAP’S art auction, at Muthaiga in Nairobi on February 4, 2023. Photo | POOL

Buddies of Nairobi Countrywide Park (FONNaP) held a working day-long artwork exhibition last Friday at Spinners Net in Kitisuru, Nairobi.

The light-weight-stuffed show preceded the art exhibition and auction held the next Saturday night at Muthaiga Club wherever cash had been elevated in support of the Friends’ initiatives to promote and maintain the Countrywide Park.

“There’s nowhere else in the environment wherever you can generate down the road and see ostriches, zebra, and elephants going for walks by apart from in Nairobi,” John Butler Jr, an enthusiastic volunteer with FONNaP, tells the BDLife.

The two-tier exhibition was curated by a extended-time member of the group, Philippa Crosland-Taylor, and William Ndwiga of The Very little Art Gallery.

It was two-tiered in the sense that Friday’s exhibition was held in two independent nevertheless adjoining rooms, a single with the artworks for clearly show and rapid sale, the other completely filled with will work that could be seen but not acquired until finally the subsequent day when the bidding opened up and Philippa served as the evening’s auctioneer.

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She was a smart choice for the portion considering the fact that, regardless of her hardly ever acquiring auctioneered in advance of, she had formerly attended a multitude of auctions, equally below and overseas.

What is far more, she is also devoted to the two the park and fine art, so she had the enthusiasm needed to cajole close friends and their attendees to make their bids for this deserving bring about.

It labored in most circumstances, but even where by it did not, she designed the night an effervescent affair.

It was increased by a musical interlude that featured Eddie Gray on guitar and the internationally acclaimed percussionist Sven Kacirek.

But the big issue was the auction.


Patrick Kinuthia’s herd of Elephants at FONNAP’S fundraiser at Muthaiga Club in Nairobi on February 4, 2023. Image | POOL

The art that experienced been reserved the working day right before at Spinners Net was now on show on the grass on easels outside the Ballroom in which a dozen tables had been set for visitors to have dinner just before the auction started.

The only factor peculiar about the possibilities of artworks was that most of the artists have been represented in each exhibitions (since there had been correctly two art displays).

And on Friday in particular, a single could see the distinction between the two.

Each ended up attractive, showcasing common painters like Patrick Kinuthia, Ann Mwiti, El Tayeb Dawelbeit, and Adrian Nduma. There had been others bundled exclusively in the auction art area at Spinners Website, and they provided a superb portray by Peter Elungat which highlighted on the catalogue go over and was sought soon after by many of the Countrywide Park buddies but not at that selling price.

I believe the setting up bid was Sh800,000, which was an unlikely variety to hear on that evening. There had been other parts, like Ahmed Abushariaa’s lovely ‘Forest and Desert’ at Sh1.3 million which were attractive but pricier than what would be provided up by the close friends that night.


Nannette Sole’s Back garden at FONNAP’s fundraiser on February 4, 2023. Photo | POOL

And an spectacular piece like Bertiers Mbatia’s was also admired by quite a few but it way too was not exactly reasonably priced at Sh400,000, besides by collectors and connoisseurs who realize his artwork is a precious expenditure very easily well worth that quantity since it will only accrue in benefit over time.

So, is effective like these had been wonderful viewing, but not specifically valuable to the fundraising undertaking.

What made additional feeling ended up beautiful operates like Sophie Walboeffe’s Giraffe at Sh40,000 least, Bettina Roedling’s check out of ‘Nairobi National Park’ at Sh25,000, and even Steve Ndungu Lance’s Ngalawa at Lowtide for Sh15,000 (which experienced been donated by the artists to FONNaP).

Meanwhile, the art that was only on display the working day just before the auction experienced a number of operates that I wished had been in the auction. Most of my preferences were brighter and sunnier, these kinds of as Coster Ojwang’s ‘The Herd’, Adrian Nduma’s ‘Diani Sunrise’, Haji Chilonga’s ‘Unit’, and even Anne Mwiti’s ‘Makutano’ which is now one particular of my favourite will work by the Kenyatta University lecturer in Good Art.

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But in the close, it didn’t matter which area or which technique of revenue took area.

Equally exhibitions which I found at Spinners World wide web ended up marketed in assist of this essential organisation, 1 aimed at preserving and shielding just one of Kenya’s most treasured worldwide belongings, which makes Nairobi exceptional.

FONNaP has nevertheless to sq. its accounts even although most bills have presently been lined, and many of the artists had donated their operate. But some others did not. So people payments are however being sorted out.


Jjuuko Hoods painting at Muthaiga Club in Nairobi on February 4, 2023. Photo | POOL

Nevertheless, the array of eclectic East African artists on exhibit on both of those times was outstanding. They arrived from Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda as properly as from Belgium and the British isles.

Other artists who were being showcased in the exhibition bundled Adam Masava, Alex Wainaina, Ameer Yousif, Coster Ojwang, Derrick Munene, Heruy Aregawi, Kivutha Mbuno, Satisfied Roberts, Hussein Halfawi, Jjuuko Hoods, Nannette Sole, Samuel Njuguna Njoroge, Victor Nderitu, Xavier Verhoest, and Yassir Ali.

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By Indana