Peterson Kamwathi is part of a generation of young East African artists whose break with the colonial tutelage that for decades defined the region’s art has afforded the exploration of topics both deeply rooted in Africa’s cultural background and issues further afield. Taking the global urgency surrounding migration as a departure point, Kamwathi’s recent series delves into the anatomy of human movement. Each work, loosely grouped under the title, Constellations and Sediments, revolves around a posture associated with movement. The work aims at providing a visual analysis of one of the most troubling moral and geopolitical issues we face today. Rejecting the simplistic media narratives that promulgate a spectacle of migration into the European North, the series concentrates on the underlying complexities of the phenomenon, at whose core is the desire to better one’s life.
Peterson’s work has been widely exhibited, most recently, When the Heavens Meet the Earth, The Heong Gallery, Downing College, Cambridge (2017) and La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2017), where he represented Kenya.