BACK TO THE FUTURE
Children arrived early in my body of works, but their portraits have been rare. I’ve featured my niece and two nephews and haven’t painted other children. Through their portraits, I portray hope, joy, happiness, love, pleasure, sharing, presence, shout out, pride, silence, emotions, time, the future… In fact whenever I paint my characters, what I’m looking for is any positive attitude. To me this is much easier to reveal through my niece and nephews. So this series came about naturally and spontaneously.
I do not have children, but I’m interested in transmission. When painting them, they are like a reflection of myself. I have the impression that I can imagine the future while at the same time look at my past. They send me back to fond memories of my happy childhood!
I also wonder what is left of my childhood today. Did it actually ever stop ? When does (or should) being a child end? I do not know whether I can draw a clear line between the before and after. Or is it that each one simply defines where their limit lies?
As I create, I let myself to be surprised by the works, I take risks with my inner feelings, I (re)discover my niece and my nephews, I learn as I watch them grow and I have fun. Maybe I’m simply trying to reconnect with myself as a child.
Evans Mbugua, 2018
Title : Awesome
Hand painted on perspex + digital print on paper
100 x 70 cm
Gallery of African Art, UK