Lamu Arts Festival - 2016 Valentine's Weekend in Lamu

Shela Hat Contest

Shela Hat Contest winners 2014

In Lamu the sun shines all year round, smiling down benevolently on the island, as if taking a personal delight in the sheer beauty of the place.

Forget haute couture, Shela presents Hat Couture! The 4th edition oft he Shela Hat Contest will be held at Peponi Beach, on Saturday 13th February 2016, in the picturesque fishermen’s village of Shela on Lamu Island, Kenya.

The contest is open to all local inhabitans of the Lamu archipelago above 18 years. No ‚Msungo’ participition allowed. About 100 wired hats will gather at the beach in front of the legendary Peponi Hotel for the competition. The challenge is to design hats from used materials such as pipes, bones, shells, palm leaves, plastic, fabrics, coral and paper from cement bags. A jury of prominent Nairobi based artists will select the winners.

Results will be beautiful, bizarre, hilarious – and everything in between, demonstrating the talent and good humour of the local people of Lamu. More reading at Shela Hat Contest.

Art Exhibitions

Eltayeb Dawelbait

Eltayeb Dawelbait

El Tayeb participated the Lamu Painters Festival in 2013.

The recurring motif in his work are the distinctive faces etched and painted on discarded wood of used panels, window shutters, lost wood or metall sheet. They look like similar for a hasty look but they are individual and different. The faces tell about injuries in a life story as the great drawings of Giaccometti do. Eltayeb Dawalbait was born in 1967 in Kosti, Sudan. He trained at Khartoum’s University of Science and Technology in the school of fine art. He has lived in Nairobi since the late 1990s. He moved to Nairobi when he went into exile because of the political changes of the current Sudan government.

Fitsum Berhe Woldelibanos

Fitsum Berhe Woldelibanos

Since Fitsum moved to Kenya in 2003 and after the discovery of the Lamu spirit he worked regular on the island. Also he participated the Lamu Painters Festival 2011.

His seriousness as a painter has made him one of the few artists in Kenya who can live off their skills. His work is shown nationally and internationally, his recent exhibition took place In the monster warehouse of Rampelberg Design in Nairobi outskirts. The unique use of color and structure of his paintings makes him a stand out in Nairobi’s art scene. Born 1979 in Eritrea, he studied at the University of Asmara and at the Asmara School of Arts (Eritrea), but never looked back.

Sophie Walbeoffe

Sophie Walbeoffe

Sophie Walbeoffe was born in the UK 1961 and lives in Nairobi, Kenya. As a child she visited the home of an American collector in South Devon, where she was inspired by the seascape paintings of the 19th century American landscape painter Winslow Homer. Always a traveller, she paints at extraordinary stations across the planet. From the stone town of Lamu to the historical wonder of Jerusalem.

Walbeoffe studied at the Wimbledon School of Art and later with world renowned British painter Cecil Collins at the Central School of Art in London. It was there that she began to paint using both hands at once. Walbeoffe works in several mediums, but she is most noted for her brilliant watercolour palette and buoyant strokes.

Svetlana Tiourina

Svetlana Tiourina

Tiourina paints from her home studio in Amsterdam and was invited to the Lamu Painters festival 2015.

From the moment Tiourina arrived in Lamu, she picked up a pen and began to sketch every person and living thing to cross her path. She drew the Swahili women, casually dressed residents, wide-eyed children, her fellow artists and the braying donkeys. Her sketches were instinctive, intuitive and personal, and explored the facial expressions and the social climate of the people of Lamu. Born in Perm, Russia, Tiourina moved to Amsterdam in 1994 where she began her career as a writer and illustrator of children’s books. In 2000, in New York City, she won a competition at an international cartoon exhibition called 21st Century, Humanity in Nature (awarded by United Nations). During her present stay she will join the workshops of the Lamu Art Festival and exhibit projects with Anidan orphans.

Karin Voogd

Karin Voogd

Karin Voogd was born in the Dutch city of Leiden and lives Rotterdam. As an admirer of the paintings of Goya and Velazquez, she studied Spanish Philology and Literature at the Universiteit Leiden before studying fine art at Willem de Kooning Academie.

Invited to the Lamu Painters Festival in 2011 & 2015 Lamu touched her heart. She took Swahili lessons and worked on her return. In October 2015 she resided as first artist ever in the remote village of Matondoni. Her plans for the Lamu Art Festival are workshops for local young artists and art teachers. Also she teaches the Anidan orphans in a junior hat contest, the results will be displayed.

Joachim Sauter

Joachim Sauter

In 2011 Joachim Sauter, a sculptor from Stuttgart/Germany and participant of the Lamu Painters‘ Festival in the same year has been inspired when watching men carrying coral blocks on their shoulders down to the beach where the dhows waited to be loaded. The impression at first sight encouraged him to come back with paper and pencil and to start sketching people who were willing to pose for him. The idea of a multidimensional portrait of the village of Maweni took shape. Especially the hard work of the block carriers very much inspired Joachim to create more than life-sized sculptures that show the very special abilities, the strength, the power but also the sense of balance that is needed to carry the heavy load. Worked in wood the festival will display four out of a collection of seven sculptures, a group called ‚The Maweni Carriers’, each based on a individual carrier.

Sauter was born in 1956. He began his artist career working with live models, sculpting in stone or plaster cast in bronze. He also sketched in paint and produced linocut prints. More recently, Sauter has switched modes, working in wood for his current project in Lamu, Kenya.

Adam Musa Adam

Adam Musa Adam

Adam is a veritable Lamu painter, specialising in water painting on canvas and palette knife art. He has distinguished himself as a prolific painter, inspired by the unique scenery of the old town of his native Lamu island. He was born in 1971 in old town Lamu.

Adam attributes his success to the training opportunities that helped him hone his skills, including participation in Kuona Trust Workshops in 1997 and 1998. Other workshop opportunities have also inspired him in his new found expression, specialising in both realistic and abstract forms of painting. Adam’s paintings are prominently displayed in the reception lounges of major hotels in Lamu, receiving admiration from the multitudes arriving in the town, he is easily one of the most recognisable contemporary artists from Lamu Island.

Roland Klemp

Roland Klemp

Klemp was born 1965 in Hamburg / Germany, After he finished his technical studies, he decided to follow his real passion. In the late 1990´s he started his career as a freelance photographer. Since this time he is mainly doing portraits, commercial, architecture and vintage car photography. He came first to Lamu in 2008 and is a regular visitor since then.

A documentary b/w photobook and an exhibition in Lamu Fort about the archipelago was the result. Lamu smiles still continues in 2016 and will be shown in his current portrait exhibition.

Corrie Wingate

Corrie Wingate

UK born Corrie Wingate studied Fine Art at The Kent institute of Art and Design. Since 2006 Corrie has been working as a commercial photographer for travel guides, magazines and more recently for NGOs on the African continent.

Corrie first visited Lamu in 1992 and only returned for the second time 20 years later to run photography workshops with children at ANIDAN children's shelter. Due to the success of the project and the evident need for more creative activities at ANIDAN, in 2013 she founded an art centre so that the 200 children at ANIDAN had an art space, mentors and materials. She received a grant from 'The African Arts trust' to bring Nairobi based artists to Lamu three times a year to run art workshops for the children and make work during their stay.

Corrie's photographic exhibition in the Fort during the Lamu Arts festival weekend is an ongoing project to document and pay homage to the incredibly hard working community at Manda Maweni, the stone carvers village on nearby Manda island.

Musicians performing

Maia von Lekow & Band

Maia von Lekow

Maia represents a new colour to Kenya's contemporary musical landscape. She delicately weaves afro-jazz, folk & soul together making a sound that is uniquely her own. Her music videos including “Jellyfish” and “Marvin Gayes’ What’s Going On”, a collaboration with Alex Boye, have shown a flood of colour and creativity around her lilac vocals.

Her Self-titled EP (2009) “Oyster” was featured on Warner Music’s “Ladies’ Jazz Album Vol. 6”, while “Uko Wapi” earned her two African Academy Awards for best soundtrack. Maia has performed all over the world and her reputation as a highly-engaging live act has emerged from her shows both as a 4piece band, and as an intimate solo-acoustic performer.

Maia shares a commitment to community development through her work with various advocacy and development campaigns, she is also co directing her first feature length documentary set for release in 2017 based around the intergenerational divide between the youth and elders along the coast of Kenya, Currently she is working on her third album due for release in 2016.

The Kaya Collective

The Kaya Collective

The Kaya Collective is an international group of Nairobi based musicians who play a fusion of afro-funk, soul, hip-hop, rock n roll and jazz. They combine, percussion, brass and vocals to create a truly unique experience. Taking influence across continents, Kaya Collective present a moving and exciting show that will engage you in moments of nostalgia one moment, whilst forcing you to move and dance in the next.

The Kaya Collective has a roster of completely original music that includes styles such as Somali Disco, Heavy Funk, Malian Blues and Soul in the Hole. Being born out of a culture of improvisation and ‘jamming’, much of The Kaya Collective’s performance is improvised, providing a completely unique live experience.

Nazizi

Nazizi

Nazizi is a Kenyan hip hop/reggae/dancehall artist who commands a great following in East Africa. Popularly known as The First Lady; she released her first single 'Ni Sawa Tu' at the age of 16. Her versatility has seen her emerge as one of the few artists in Africa who effortlessly slip between different music genres. 

Nazizi has a successful solo career in addition to being a member of the popular Kenyan group - Necessary Noize; the most successful East African group to date - East African Bashment Crew (EABC); the all female MC international hip hop group - Lyrikal Roses; and, the East African group set to blaze the trail in distinct regional sound, Mashariki. She has also recorded a joint album with Jamaican reggae star Ginjah.

Shamir

Shamir

Shamir was born on 28th August 1986, he grew up in Kibera and Mombasa. In 2006, he started as the lead singer for Bad Man Kollege, a Kenyan reggae band. In 2003, while still in high school, Shamir worked with the legendary Burning Spear for Sawa Sawa Festival. 

Since 2006 Shamir went solo with his music career, and had his impact in the Kenya music industry in 2007 with the release of “On Fire”, which is still a household name. Shamir has worked with some of the biggest producers in Jamaica from Dean Fraser, Sly Dunbar, to Robbie Shakespear.

Shamir is a passionate songwriter, and one of the best producers in Kenya. He runs One Vibe Studio in Kisumu and enjoys mentoring youth through his weekly guitar and vocal classes. 

Program

Exhibitions Thursday, February 11th - Sunday, February 14th
Fitsum Berhe Woldelibanos & Eltayeb Dawelbait
Paintings & Installations
Baraka Gallery
Sophie Walboeffe
Water colours of Lamu
Lamu Fort
Joachim Sauter
The Lamu Carrier, wood sculptures
Lamu Fort
Roland Kemp
Lamu Smiles, Photographs
Lamu Fort
Corrie Wingate
Maweni Photography
Lamu Fort
Adam Musa & Lamu Artists Association
Collection from locals artists
Lamu Fort
ANIDAN Junior Hat Exhibition Cyber Gardens
Thursday, February 11th
9am - 5pm Art Workshop - Invitation only
Karin Voogd, Sophie Walbeoffe, Svetlana Tiourina, Carolyne Robista, Mchulla Arts
Cyber Gardens
5pm - 6pm Open Studio Cyber Gardens
Friday, February 12th
9am - 5pm Craft Fair Mkunguni Square
9am - 10:30am ANIDAN Junior Hat Exhibition Cyber Gardens
3pm - 4pm Official Opening & Award Ceremony Lamu Fort
4:30pm - 6pm Gallery Walk
Meet the artists for all exhibitions
Various Locations
8pm - 11pm Open Concert
Lamu Music4Peace Artists, Shamir, Nazizi, Kaya Collective
Mkunguni Square
Saturday, February 13th
9am - 5pm Craft Fair Mkunguni Square
9am - 5pm Art Exhibitions Various Locations
10am - 2pm Shela Hat Contest Shela Beach
7pm - 10pm Soul Music Concert
Kaya Collective, Maia Von Lekow
Shela Bazar
Sunday, February 14th
9am - 5pm Craft Fair Shela Beach
9am - 5pm Art Exhibitions Various Locations
2pm - 5pm Mad Hatters Dhow Race Shela Beach

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