Highlights from Nafasi Art Space

Nafasi Art Space

Visual Art at Nafasi Art Space
This collection displays the work of the Nafasi visual artists, highlighting the creativity that goes on behind the scenes. While the pieces explore a wealth of subject matter and issues, all are inspired by the Nafasi community, Dar es Salaam, and Tanzania more widely.

Robino Ntila (born 1953) is a visual artist, curator and art critic from Ndanda in Tanzania. Ntila’s prints depict traditional life in East Africa. He uses subtle techniques in his work, which range from realist to abstract, mixing cubism with aspects of African silhouettes.

Born in Dar es Salaam in 1976, Lutengano Mwakisopile is a self-taught visual artist. The subject matter in Mwakisopile’s work is derived from his memories, experiences, hopes and aspirations. This woodcut print highlights Swahili culture and diversity of colours that make up the khanga and the women that wear them.

Nadir Tharani, born in 1952 in Moshi, Tanzania, is an architect, painter and writer. He studied Architecture at University College of London (UCL) in London whilst exploring the visual arts, including graphic and print work.

Amani Abeid was born in Tanga, Tanzania in 1986. Abeid is a multi-disciplinary visual artist who creates illustrations, paintings, comics, and cartoons. He was encouraged to pursue art by his uncle, Colonel Yona Msocha, who inspired him to paint his very first portrait of his late aunt.

Mwandale Mwanyekwa, A.K.A Big Mama, comes from the Makonde tribe who are well known for their traditional Makonde sculptures. She is the 5th generation of women sculptors in her family. Her aim is to keep alive the history of the female Makonde sculptors through her art, and reflect on the skills and culture from her maternal side, who were masters at clay work, carpentry and sculpture in Tanzania and Mozambique. She takes the traditional sculptural style of the Makonde and adds a contemporary approach.

Vita Malulu, born 1976 in Mwanza, Tanzania, works mostly with oil and acrylic paint on canvas and recycled material to create sculptural installations. Malulu creates work that interrogates the difficulties that face the lower-class majority of Tanzanians who are often rendered voiceless.

Born in 1974 in Njombe, Tanzania, Cloud Chatanda specialises in illustration and painting. Born the second child of eight to the late captain and solider Augustino Chatanda, his family was reluctant for him to pursue a career in art. With encouragement from his teachers and peers at school, he started creating illustrations and finally took the leap into working as an artist full time.

Paul Ndunguru is a Tanzanian visual artist, performer, and educator who creates comics, sculpture, installations, and paintings.

Peke is an almost life-size fibreglass elephant created to pose the worrying question to the public: what if there was only one elephant left in Tanzania? Although work is being done to combat poaching in Tanzania, much of it does not engage the general public, many of whom have never seen an elephant.

Professor Elias Eliezar Jengo was born in 1936 in Tanga, Tanzania. He trained at Makerere University and has taught at the University of Dar es Salaam. Jengo is a writer and painter who has exhibited both locally and internationally. In 1997 the Royal Geographic Society of Britain appointed him to work with Jonathan Kingdon, a British artist and an evolutionary zoologist, to record their artistic observations of the Mkomazi Ecological Project.

Professor Jengo is the founding board chairman of Nafasi Art Space.

Shaziri Movani was born in 1987 in Masasi Mtwara, Tanzania. Movani developed an interest in drawing while at primary school. When he didn’t get a chance to continue with secondary education, he continued drawing and starting working as a sign artist.

In 2010 Movani met the visual artist Max Kamundi who inspired him to start painting on canvas, and joined the Bagamoyo College of the Arts (TASUBA).

Thobias Minzi is a painter and videographer born in 1984 in Mwanza, Tanzania. Minzi has developed an artistic style that uses fabric and wood in his work to convey images and feelings.

Minzi’s paintings depict women and children, the role they play in African life, and the challenges they face within developing countries.

Nicholas Calvin (born 1987) ​is a filmmaker and photographer fascinated by the potential of an image to portray universal human stories. In 2012, while working in Rungwe, a village in the Southern Highland of Tanzania, he came across the story of a group of people living with HIV/AIDS, which later became a subject of his first documentary film, Kama Wewe (Just Like You). His work seeks to share stories and moments from the region.

Masoud Kibwana (b. 1988) is a painter from Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Through a blend of cubism and African figurative painting, Kibwana’s paintings capture the beauty, culture and traditions of the East African people.

Incorporated into his art are the intricate tribal patterns that can still be seen tattooed into the faces of the Makonde people of Tanzania and Mozambique.  His work is characterised by the intertwining of subjects and colour combinations not immediately identified as African. Through his work Kibwana explores the challenges that have hampered development and sustainability in the Tanzanian community.

Mawila Khamsini (b. 1978) is a self-taught Tanzanian artist known as LocalFanatics or just Local. Local’s preferred medias are acrylic and spray paint on canvas.

He has recently started to work on wood to express the closeness between nature, human life and creativity. This painting shows the daily activities of African women, and highlights their strength.

Raza Mohamed is a self-taught artist born in Tabora, Tanzania and educated in Mombasa, Kenya. This piece shows two children lost in concentration during a game of Bao, a traditional Swahili board game, on the beach on Zanzibar.

Safina Kimbokta explores the notion of the ideal beauty of African women. She aims to raise awareness of the social pressures facing young women in Tanzania and Africa more widely, support campaigns against harmful skin creams, and encourage women to appreciate their natural beauty.

Credits: Story

Curated by Rebecca Corey, Beatrice McDermott, and Asteria Malinzi.

All images copyright of the artists.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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