Clinton exhibits with Kenyan art teacher

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Lisburn artist Clinton Kirkpatrick has joined forces with a Kenyan artist for his latest exhibition, which launched this week in Bangor.

Clinton met John Silver Kimani when he was working and teaching in Kenya four years ago and the pair were keen to launch a joint exhibition back in Northern Ireland.

John Silver is an East African artist from Kenya and is a painter and printmaker. He started his art career at a very young age creating painted-works and sculptures.

It wasn’t until later on in life, however, that he decided to pursue an artistic pathway and take a more serious approach to an artistic career. He drew inspiration for artists at Banana Hill Art Studio, in Kenya, and the Ngecha region in Central Kenya.

His paintings and print-works have a dream-like quality to them; his work is full of colour, texture and fantasy. He draws inspiration from the surrounding world and delves into his imagination to create iconic, individual and stunning artworks.

His woodcut prints and paintings have found their way into several institutions, among them the Victoria and Albert Museum collections in London.

In 2015 John Silver won a Japanese award for best printmaker and has been awarded a solo exhibition at the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan in 2016. He has exhibited extensively in Kenya, Africa, Europe, USA and Asia in both solo and group exhibitions.

John Silver takes a keen interest in the teaching of others. He runs various workshops at the Kuona Trust, in Kenya, and he works with disadvantaged children, who live in the slums around Kenya, with his own ongoing project called Rhino Care Art Project that takes art and colourful learning into the hearts and minds of many people.

It was when Clinton was first in Kenya in 2012 teaching art to disadvantaged children that he and John Silver first began to work together, with John Silver helping the Lisburn artist to work with new mediums.

“We met in 2012 where Silver was my woodcut teacher and I went back to work with him further during my exhibition at the Nairobi Museum in 2014,” explained Clinton.

Well known for his work as a painter and printmaker, Clinton has exhibited widely in Northern Ireland, with his most recent work taking huge inspiration from his time spent in Kenya.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Whence He Came’, opened at Seacourt Print Workshop in Bangor on Wednesday February 10 and runs until March 26. There will also be an artist talk on Thursday February 18 at 7pm.

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