Tuesday 23 August 2016

Ms. Lydia Gatundu Galavu (OYASAF 2016 fellow)

Ms Lydia Gatundu Galavu (view CV below) recently (31/07/2016 to 21/08/2016), completed her scholar/curatorial fellowship with OYASAF. In her presentation on Wednesday 17th of August 2016, at the OYASAF facility in Lagos, Nigeria, she disclosed that her experience at OYASAF was most valuable, engaging and educative in research. She spent 21 days immersed in the OYASAF collection of over 7,000 art pieces (dating ca. C9th to present) in Lagos and Abeokuta, Nigeria. She found the collection as relevant to her research dissertation titled: “Displaying Traditional Art in Contemporary African Time: A critical analysis on the best practices for contextualizing traditional art within its home environment.”
Ms. Lydia Gatundu Galavu during the presentation
In her presentation at OYASAF facility in Lagos, she stated that,
 “With contemporary African art rising to the centre of world attention, an increase in the number of art museums in Africa is to be expected. The purpose of my study is to investigate how differently African art can be displayed at home to ensure that its full identity and meaning is well understood. I focused on the curatorial thought process behind the collection and display of the OYASAF art works”.

As part of her extensive interaction with OYASAF, she visited the site of Prince Yemisi Shyllon Art Museum, which is currently under construction at the Pan Atlantic University in Lekki, Lagos. Towards the end of her stay at OYASAF, she was able to interact and brainstorm with many fellow artists, curators, art educators, historians and collectors in Lagos and its environs. The thoughts expressed by her, during the interactive session at the OYASAF presentation, include the need to document, the importance of provenance, the enlightenment that comes from education and dissemination, and the supremacy of local patronage.
Adeola Balogun (left) Ms. Lydia Gatundu Galavu (Center) and Prince Yemisi Shyllon

There was also a general agreement of participants at the interactive session, that African nations need to collaborate towards building a well-educated and articulate art historical practice and apply curatorial principles for embracing indigenous cultural constructs, if Africa is to reform its history and depart from the prejudicial neo-colonial perceptions about indigenous African art.  OYASAF and Ms. Galavu look forward  to her visit and study generating further discussions and researches, particularly across Africa,  for more contextual curatorial considerations of art museums in Africa and that her findings will contribute to a larger ongoing research for the development of Kenya’s first permanent contemporary art gallery at the Nairobi National Museum



Educational Highlights:
Ph.d Scholar (2016): ‘History of Art in Kenya’ Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, Nairobi University, kenya.
Supervisor: Professor Simiyu Wandibba, University of Nairobi, Kenya.
University of Nairobi, Kenya
Masters of Art (M.A.), (2009) Institute of Anthropology, Gender and African Studies, Nairobi University, kenya.
Thesis Title‘Traditional Art and the Individual: An ethnographic investigation of Turkana kitchen art.’
Supervisor: Dr Stevie Nnangendo, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) (2006) Degree in Gender and Development Studies,
Short courses and training: Dip.Art Education, Cert. Design

Work Experience:
Curator of Contemporary Art, National Museums of Kenya, 2010 – to date
Public Programmes Co-ordinator, Uhuru Gardens Memmorial Park Nairobi 2009
Exhibits Designer: National Museums of Kenya, 2001 - 2008
Art teaching: Kenya Teachers Service Commission, 1990 - 1997
Art practice: Sculpting, painting and illustration 1998 – 2000

Curatorial Highlights:
AAM- Getty International Program: museum art professionals (2016), Washington DC, USA
Sanaa ya Makaratasi; exhibition of works on paper titled 'African Paper Art: Process, Substance, Environment’  from 12 African countries, Nairobi, 2012
A for Africa’ Project, exhibition in Benin, Kenya and Burkina Faso (2009/2010)
International Symposium for Ceramic Education and Exchange, University College of Creative Arts, Farnham UK (2007/2008)
Exhibition Design, at the British Museum for development of the exchange exhibition Hazina (2005)  

Selected Lecture Delivered:
‘Mud to Vessel: The Social Aspects of Pot Making among the Gakoigo Women of Central Kenya’. The Language of Clay International Workshop. The British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 5th – 7th May 2016