Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga’s sculptures are resourcefully produced from textured sheet metal and steel wire. Applying a particular technique in which rolls of sheet metal are bathed in water to create multifaceted effects, she aligns this sculptural strategy with a particular philosophy. The corroded metals align with the concept of Jua Kali, a Swahili adage which translates literally as ‘under the hot sun’, in reference to the appreciation for serendipitous outcomes born out of discarded materials.
Gakunga first studied art at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, before continuing her graduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA, and later, relocating to Texas, USA. She has been included in several exhibitions in the USA, UK, France, Brazil, and Poland. Gakunga’s UK debut solo exhibition, Ituika – Transformation, was presented at October Gallery, London (2013). She has been long-listed for the FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Awards (2016).