About Kuona Trust
Kuona Trust is a not-for-profit organisation set up to research, support and promote contemporary visual art in Kenya and East Africa. The Trust does this by nurturing local talent through international exchange, workshops, residency programmes, exhibitions and innovative outreach projects. Kuona's mission is to generate greater public appreciation of visual arts by advancing skills and opportunities for artists and strengthening local audiences.
Kuona Trust was established in 1995 at the National Museums of Kenya grounds in Nairobi and is currently housed at the GoDown Arts Centre, Dunga Road Industrial area.
About the residency
Graham Hudson was invited to Kuona Trust, part of the National Museum, Nairobi, Kenya, for a two month artist residency. Hudson was on residency alongside Maria Buchner, from Australia, Stephen Ngaranganga, from Zimbabwe, and Beatrice Njoroge from Kenya.
Hudson writes of his Fellowship:
I use a lot of found materials, and the methods I use to combine these are functional and direct (or rough and ready). These methods are often compared to a third world approach to ‘making do’ and essential recycling, here was a chance to really see this kind of ‘making’ on a daily practical sense.
Hudson gave a presentation introducing his work to the locally-based artists at Kuona Trust and the GoDown Studios, alongside the other visiting artists. During the residency he researched hand sign painting and made works based on this practice, commissioning local sign painters to re-work iconic imagery and text from contemporary western art and culture. Hudson also used the residency to create work which has since been exhibited in the USA. For his final exhibition, he made sculptural work in response to the huge, empty advertising hoardings common in Nairobi.
Just being there for an amount of time that lets the place really make an effect. Also I now feel confident in the kind of making I was previously doing. I was concerned it could have perhaps been blinkered to the realities of this kind of making in places like Africa, but now I have seen it first hand, I am confident to continue.