Clinton brings his art back to its origins with Kenyan exhibition

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Lisburn artist Clinton Kirkpatrick recently made his third visit to Kenya but this time he was delighted to de displaying his work at the Nairobi National Museum.

Over the past three years, Clinton has spent time working with young people in Kenya and has used this experience as the inspiration for his latest body of work.

In May 2013 Clinton was selected to put together an exhibition for the Nairobi National Museum, an honour that he was delighted to take up.

“In May 2013 I was told by Lydia Galavu, the art curator at the museum, that I had been selected by the National Museums of Kenya to exhibit with them in 2014,” explained Clinton. “This news came as I was preparing for my solo exhibition at the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn last year and I was delighted.”

During the intervening year, Clinton spent time putting together the exhibition and working on three new pieces to display in the Kenyan museum. “My exhibition titled ‘Where he ran, and returned to’ is a selection of work created over the last two and a half years including three new paintings created for this exhibition,” he continued.

“I have spent three years in and out of Kenya, East Africa and after each of the previous times spent here I have returned home and created paintings in response. My work is about journey, place and identity.”

To enable him to travel to Kenya and put on the exhibition, Clinton had to raise a significant amount of money, which was mainly used to transport his large works of art.

“I was able to return to Kenya with the support of many people through online fundraising platforms and I returned to work with Friends’ School Lisburn, my old school, to fundraise with year 11s,” explained Clinton.

The exhibition runs until the end of May and during his time in Kenya, Clinton hopes to work with schools in the area.

He also gave an artist’s talk and discussion about his work at the museum on Thursday (May 15).

“This is an amazing opportunity for me,” added Clinton. “It was so important for me to bring the work I was making about Kenya to the place that it is all about.”