Nguvu means strength in the Swahili language. The surface explorations are largely inspired by Traditional body adornment practices. These textile explorations worship the rich culture the Kenyan people have and demystify the negative association to the traditional culture that is slowly dyeing out. The textures and patterns are inspired by the raised surface of the scars whereas the mix of both vibrant and dull colours emulate the colours present in the intricate beading patterns of the jewelry. The patterns when closely examined resemble organic simple mark-making. In a bid to achieve this textures and raised surfaces, I focussed on leather and beading, materials that are shiny and smooth, resemble skin. Some of the patterns from afar look like mosaics and this aspect of mixing different shapes and materials achieved this desired look.
This project investigates and interprets the practice of scarification, elaborate body adornment and hair braiding in traditional African culture and explores how to recreate these textures using modern craft techniques. The techniques explored are approached to create a raised surface texture, muted but noticeable to the naked eye. Applied in leather manipulation projects, the artist uses heat, beading, stitching and manipulation of the surfaces to create a raised effect.