What if Afrikans reconnected with Outer World Beings?
‘Outer World Women’ asked some of our favourite East African, female graphics designers, illustrators and artists to create pieces around that theme, and let their imaginations run wild.
Works by: Chebet Kimetto, TaraLight, Jacque Njeri, Mukami King’oriah, Leona Ekina, Precious Narotso, Wanjira Kinyua, Cynthia Thuku, Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya, Chela, Adelaide Jachi, Nyambura “Nash” Kariuki
Curated & Produced by: Nairobi Design Week
Partners: Africa Nouveau Festival
Africa Nouveau Festival, Ngong Race Course, Nairobi (7-9th March 2019)
Nairobi Design Week 2019, Nairobi National Museum (23rd March-10 May 2019)
Karen Village, Nairobi ( 25th May – 25th August 2019)
Click on each 'Outer World Women' image to get a closer look!
“In a world where Africans reconnect with outer space beings they mate and create a hybrid species who communicate through extra sensory perception. Their faces have an electric connection on one side of the face…outer world beings have advanced technology and this piece was inspired by that. Africans and outer space beings shared technology from their encounter.”
"The princess is not amused"
‘The princess is not amused’
“The sentence above was a thought that came to me one day, and that’s what this piece was based on in the beginning until it progressed into this new story.”
“I’ve started a small art series titled ‘Kosmo Sculptor’ about giants who sculpted/constructed the planets & universe eons ago, while also trying to preserve/repair them and this is Kosmo Sculptor #1 aka ‘Yula’.”
“I was thinking I’d turn this into a proper story one day but for now I’m having fun experimenting with the ideas as they come and gradually reveal the concepts.” It’s called ‘The Amber Archways’.
“This is sculptor #2 aka ‘Teo’. In the Kosmo Sculptor universe, all the planets have their numbers carved in after they’re created, over time these rocks gradually wear out and begin to from massive cracks. Lava is used as an ‘adhesive’ to try keep the cracks from progressing.
Everything is also drawn pretty much to scale, the average size of the sculptor is equivalent to a planet (e.g size of Jupiter) and the sizes of all the planets may vary and some end up crafting planets over 1000x their size or under.”
"The average size of the sculptor is equivalent to a planet."
Precious is an illustrator and animator.
“My work centres around being blackity black black and the different spaces we occupy in the world. I consider myself a bare maximalist because I use the little I have to make alot. All my illustrations are done on my phone. Showing you don’t need the expensive equipment to create.”•
You read that right, THESE PIECES FOR OUTER WORLD WOMEN WERE DRAWN ON HER PHONE 👉🏽📱
Jacque Njeri is multi-disciplinary creative and visual artist. After graduating with a Bachelors in Art in Design she started working in advertising until early 2017 when she delved into visual art.
"Sayari's music is a force and can control intergalactic worlds to trigger visitations from outer world beings. Sayari is the link between Africans and other worlds. The key/hidden message is to use our innate abilities to change the world around us. The theme triggered the idea on how the reconnections happen."
“This piece was inspired by the journey of finding yourself. In this maze of life for us to reach the tree of realities we experience things that give us strength. And this strength eventually allows us to show the power that is within us. That’s our essence.”
Cherwon Nancy (Chela) works primarily in the medium of painting; acrylics on canvas and paper.
She has exhibited some of her pieces at Alliance Francaise, subtopia studios in Sweden, Kerry Civic parker gallery in Australia, the Bega kwa bega arts collective in Babadogo, Ibuka in the University and for street at the walls of Korogocho, Jericho, Eastleigh and many more. She also led the mural painting at Nairobi Design Week 2020 as part of the #LabelledHuman campaign.
The main themes she tackles are on culture and identity. She makes use of #symbolism, #color and #patterns to set the tone of each painting.
“This piece has a woman ghostly holding a volatile bright ball. She is drawn with a simple black line art. The glowing stars and red hues tend to set the mood of the universe and whole galaxy while the micro cells and DNA characterizes the beginning of life and the woman as it’s giver. ( At this point I want to even add that I believe God is a woman) Among the themes it portrays is imaginative innovation.
The first thing I thought was what outer world beings? Then I thought of the universe. The universe is the giver of everything. It gives you what you think of or what your mind attracts. I read this from the book ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrnes.
That is why the piece shows a galaxy of glowing stars all over the solar system and the woman is at the centre, somehow trying to sort of do a spell. What would be the product after? Thing is even I do not know yet.”
"I love to create fun, funky, colourful illustrations inspired by nature and everyday life."
An afro futuristic character design inspired by the ancient Egyptian belief in an afterlife, where the soul was immortal and the human body was transported from this world to a replica of the same, an Egyptian paradise in the higher planes of the outer world which was home to the divine.
‘“The timeline of the illustration is some time in the future when the nations of Africa have been able to unite and Pan-Africanism has been achieved. The girls are part of the practicing dancers who will be participants of a masquerade in which they showcase their traditional dances, even in casual wear.”
“Through music and dance, cultural identity is carried through generations. The continuation of old songs within religious practice retains a connection with old ancestral spirits who are associated with these songs.
“I am a designer and illustrator. I combine the two fields to help brands have a more personal impact with their clients. In a few years time, I hope to be able to animate and produce some work that tells an African narrative. I’m compulsive children’s book buyer as I love seeing different stories and illustration styles.”
“I love music, films, food and conversations that are accompanied with laughter. My work is primarily done using digital techniques and inspired by everyday objects and subjects that challenge me in drawing. My style is heavily influenced by printmaking techniques and the use of a limited colour palette.”
“Nuru is aware of being pure spirit. She connects with greater beings that she believes created everything around her. She is aware that these same beings are within her, and so she portrays power through her dark skin shining white and gold.
The universe opens up to her, making her connect with the stars and greater powers as deeply as she connects with her African roots.”
“I imagined a future where Africans reconnected with their culture and roots as a pathway to connecting with outer space beings.
They use technological advancements and their knowledge on past culture to have a deeper connection to the universe. Awareness of their inner power brings them closer to beings greater than those we know or perceive of.
Nuru also means “light” in Swahili. An appropriate name for how she shines with power.”
"Nuru also means "light" in Swahili. An appropriate name for how she shines with power."
“In Yellow, we see a woman who is in space with inverted sci-fi pyramids, possibly after defeating the alien invasion, despite the aliens having left a mark (oh her shoulder) and she also appears to be getting a bit transparent.”
There's so much detail in these pieces to be found, we love the mark left by the 👽 invasion!
“Scientists from an advanced planet have returned to Africa. They have deemed us ready to learn and teach with them, if we choose to walk through the portal.
Eons ago, they came to perform experiments and conduct observations upon life itself. Africans who witnessed them saw benevolent spirits and even copied their attire.”
“The theme inspired my piece by reminding me of the nature of advanced space travel and the theory of Panspermia (life on Earth may have been seeded by something extra-terrestrial), the idea that the seeders of our world and continent being seen as gods and spirits by those saw them intrigued me.
Sufficiently advanced technology may as well be magic to the uninitiated. So a reconnection with highly advanced beings with fantastic technology may even be interpreted as a spiritual experience.”
"Sufficiently advanced technology may as well be magic to the uninitiated."
‘RECONNECTED’ – NADDYA ADHIAMBO
“We are image bearers of God, the root creative force. As Africans, there is so much about our earthly and beyond earthly selves that has been erased. Because we’ve been cut off from how much we look like God, we are lonely and lost.
I imagine that this causes our divine source great sorrow. She misses us, and she is looking for us to remind us the truth about ourselves. When we do reconnect, I imagine she’ll embrace us, and share with us what’s on her mind.”
OUTER WORLD WOMEN:
Adelaide Jachi (Ade)
Mukami King’oriah (MXM Afrika Studio)
Nyambura “Nash” Kariuki (OhMy Studios)
Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya
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