African beauties captured by Thandiwe Muriu, one of Kenya's few female photographers

African beauties captured by Thandiwe Muriu, one of Kenya’s few female photographers

An explosion of colors and patterns. This is what, at first glance, Thandiwe Muriu offers to residents and vacationers of Houlgate (Calvados). “Exhibiting outdoors is very important to me, coming from a country where art is not very accessible. This means that it is for everyone. Showing it in this way amplifies the possibilities for dialogue,” explains the 34-year-old self-taught artist, exhibited and rewarded since 2020.

His series Camo (camouflage) celebrates African beauties and invites women to take a different look at themselves. A portrait takes about a month of work. Thandiwe Muriu chooses the fabric, entrusts it to a tailor then transforms an everyday object into glasses. “I can use anything, it’s one of my favorite games,” she says. Family archives, history and photos of Malian Seydou Keïta in the lead, she revisits an ancestral hairstyle.

Once in the studio, no digital trickery. The models of Camo merge with the background, then extract themselves from it. “This series was born from my story, from my journey towards photography, a profession traditionally reserved for men in Kenya. There was always a tension between what I wanted and what my culture wanted for me. This struggle can undoubtedly be seen in my art. »

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