KENDU is a collaborative art piece by Acaye Pamela and Katie Wright. Acaye creates performative pieces centred around the African woman’s experience, and Wright creates large-scale sculptural pieces exploring the connection between one’s sense of self and their material surroundings. The two artists produced this work in two or three weeks of intense conversation, design, and making. Their work was accepted into MTN Nyege Nyege festival.
The name Kendu means “hearth” or “again” in Alur, the language of the Nilotic people along the River Nile. It has connotations to creating, destroying, and remaking.
The intention of Kendu is to renew conversations with the occupant’s concepts of womanhood and motherhood, and their relationship to the womb. Kendu consists of an organic, egg-like structure made of metal, with an Olubugo (barkcloth) covering and small mirrored pieces on the interior. The organic shape is based on the concept of a womb and is large enough for three or four people to occupy at a time. It is 230cm at its tallest point, 200cm wide and 300cm deep.
The mirrors catch the light and reflect the occupant. In capturing reflections of the viewer, the work is temporarily personalised for everyone who enters the space. It is a representation of the self-reflection that we hope to encourage.
Olubugo from the omutuba tree is a traditional heritage material associated with sacred ritual. The creation of olubugo is a highly skilled, repetitive, and specific process. The method of creation gives rise to a unique sense of self to the makers of Olubugo. They feel they know themselves through subjective reflection ignited by the repetitive tasks involved.
Outside the installation space is a cafe on the rocks that will prepare coffee similar to that served be the Nilotic people of Sudan, Ethiopia, Egypt and Uganda. We hope that the beverage will serve as an icebreaker for strangers, and encourage people to share their experiences.
Thank you, everyone, who joined us for the first iteration of the amazing KENDU installation at Nyege Nyege festival, 07.09.18 – 10.09.18. You made it truly special.