“Our earliest childhood memories are carried with us and shape our life’s journeys,” says Bernard Ndichu Njuguna.
Njuguna was born in 1979 and grew up in the Central Highlands of Kenya surrounded by scenic landscapes and beauty, and now pursues his art full-time in Nairobi. His childhood memories have shaped and provide inspiration for his art works.
Often the images portrayed of Africa are of the malnourished children, never-ending conflict and misery. Yet for all this, the continent exudes vibrancy and joy. This is the side of Africa which Njuguna explores and documents in his paintings.
He works with a variety of materials to recreate everyday scenes and experiences, lending truth to the feeling that a sunset is never the same. His paintings are inspired by nature, feelings, music, and to a greater extent the beauty of humanity.
He mainly works with acrylics, oils and watercolors. In a bid to make use of what is in his environment, he also experiments with recycled materials in plastic and aluminum to create decorative sculptures. This also doubles as an effort to clean up pollution caused by dumping. In recent years, he has been working on a line of greeting cards that advocate a cleaner world.
Njuguna never studied art formally, but he had a chance to take it as a special subject in both primary and high school. These two institutions provided for his initial skills in art. Professionally, he pursued marketing in college, but after two years decided to follow his calling for art. His initial works were exhibited at Artz gallery in Nairobi in 2003 and he has since sold his paintings worldwide. Galleries like Amazwi and Dumela in America have played a big role in exposing his work to the world art market.
Njuguna hopes people in Africa will not forget their past and will celebrate their traditions with future generations.