SPLA : Portal to cultural diversity
Mtandao wa Sanaa Kenya

Irene Wanjiru

Irene Wanjiru
Fine artist
Principal country concerned : Column : Fine arts

Irene fell in love with scultpting after attending a sculpture workshop led by well known Kenyan sculptor, Elijah Ogira. This was in 1996 at the then Museum-based Kuona Trust Art Centre. The year after that, she participated in yet another workshop, this time including international artists where she explains that she "felt reborn". She created huge scultptures, much to the surprise of the other artists in the workshop, one of which was immediately bought at the workshop! This increased her confidence in her work even more.

Her work as described by a writer, Ali Zaidi "is powerful and original, ranging from single figures to complex "habitats" carved in both high relief and in the round from large roots". For some time the artist experimented with working with stone but soon found that wood was where she was happiest. 

Because of her great expressive ability as a sculptor, Irene was commissioned by CARE International, a global charity, to create a memorial to staff members who had died in the line of duty. She created a seven foot tall sculpture which is on permanent exhibition by the organisation.

The artist was born in 1966 in the region around Kenya's Mount Elgon.


  • Kenya : Arterial Network chapter
  • Kenya : Ketebul Music
  • Kenya : Studio Vista Network
  • Kenya : Kuona Trust
  • Kenya : The Theatre Company

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