Chipuka Group is a platform for the changes that the Technical world of The Dedan Kimathi University, Nyeri, allows the Arts to thrive. As the Swahili term Chipuka means, the group voted in the name to symbolize its sprout. Standards set for a people to try different objectives through activities cut off from their various study dockets. In the group therefore, they will set a clear view to elevate the members in their own worlds/space as well as collectively as a group.
For the group, the sky is the limit. There is so much that comes into inspiring the group and the individual members. The mutual feeling being that, there is much we as a people can do. It is just a matter of proper co-ordination and planning. Ways are being looked into to explore as much activity as possible within the group.
There are activities already up and running. They are as follows;
Performance Arts and Music
Performing arts was the start. The plays, a testament to the group’s creativity, get drive from various themes which always sync with the wider society. From set books to other fictional narratives, education becomes part and parcel to their practice. Having the vast variations of themes, the group does not rely on any singles script writer and at times, even create scripts through the members. They are in preparations to represent the University in folk dance ceremonies.
As the seasons and times pass, the thrills have not missed; the group is ever forging better ways to encourage longevity and purpose. It has found it better to allow more Arts/Crafts in their space; both for the purpose of self reliance/ stability and acquiring skills adding values to their drama sets.
Wambui Jeannette is a lady who has forged her way to the masters of multimedia crafts. She has a well educated background in Multimedia crafts as well as fine arts. Colorful yet very professional are her pieces of work. Her day to day workings have allowed her craftsmanship to gain a deeper understanding and ingenious ways of advancing her creations.
Wambui, to the Chipuka group, is the instructor of the crafts/multimedia sessions. In her ingenuity, she trains the group on ornaments and adornments creation. From strings to wires and from papers to colored stone, she guides the group in exploring their genius to open up to their beautiful worlds. More so, the same energy is spread to the costume designs and development.
Owino Mathew is a gentleman with an expound value to life. He is a fine artist, whose practice cuts lines through drawing, illustrations, painting, poetry and fictional writing to mention but a few. With an elaborate education and experiences, he does not only stops at creation of art pieces but, he goes as far as imparting knowledge and skill through training.
To the Chipuka group, Owino is the fine arts instructor. The imagery that would complement the drama and the performances the group prepares are handled in his sessions. From the simple use of lines, to the detail based on color mixing, the basics are set to be translated as far as creating backdrop pieces, and beyond.
Photography and Video
The documentation speaks through images more than we would use words. Being an element of interest within the externship program, Kairu Sam is a name we would not miss to mention. Apart from creating the easiness in the photography session, he carries the overall arm of coordinating the team. Kairu acts as the connection to the different entities that come into play for the success of the project.
From this post, Kairu’s work is on display. On top of that, most of the photos have been done by the students he mentors.
The Chipuka Group instructors therefore allow themselves, to come into this space, not as solution providers but as just a part of us only with a different set of approaches to our same challenges. In this way, mostly guidelines are offered and space is allowed for the members to create upon their views. Withstanding their inspirations, creativity and visual experiences, there is a freedom to be tapped into, but if we only allow ourselves. In all these, planned for or not, solutions/freedoms are to prop up in their own times and ways with each one approaching life passionately through the vast knowledge gained in the externship program
Author: Mathew Owino is a fine art guru from Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts and one of the Mentors in the Chipuka Externship Project
Photo Credit :Kairu Kuguru