Wambui Collymore talks installation art on latest episode of Africa Avant Garde

She was featured alongside other visual artists from Africa.

Visual artist Wambui Kimiru Collymore is one of the artists featured on the latest episode of African Avant Garde which airs on CNN.

This week’s episode focused on installation art which is an artistic genre of three-dimensional works that are often site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space.

“Installation work can be anything from having a sculpture within a particular space as a single object to tell a particular story, or in my type of work, I use multiple items. I will use the space as an experience,” Wambui says of her art.

During the episode, she also spoke about what she uses to measure success which she says is measured by the reaction of others.

“I know I have made a good installation when people can have a conversation around it and can raise new questions that I can explore. I think a good installation simplifies a complex thought,” she says.

Adding, “As an artist, I use the audience, to come into this space to experience my thoughts and my experiences, and then we can have a conversation around that.”

To immerse her audience, Wambui says she makes use of the different senses.

“It (the senses) allows the audience to immerse themselves deeper in the work. It’s not just about seeing the work against the wall,” she says.

Speaking about her artistic process, Wambui said, “I tend to keep notes and articles. I like to people-watch and I follow the news. I jot down thoughts and have conversations. Over time, that transforms itself into, how do I interpret what I heard in that conversation at the restaurant? What items can I put together to show what I was feeling and possibly how the other person was feeling?”

Additionally, she also added the installation process was therapeutic for her saying that the end result is usually the easiest part.

Looking forward to the future, Wambui hopes that this artistic space continues to grow.

“I would like to see a space that’s funded so that then it does not have to worry about making money commercially. If art continues to grow in the way that it does, we have a new tool that allows people to awaken to their particular situations and to have a voice to what they’re experiencing.”

Watch the latest episode here.


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