April News

Ending on the 20th of April, we hosted an auction of 8 original works of art by 8 internationally renowned artists. On salvaged bus panels, the paintings were from Lenny Mathe, Christina Allan, Roxanne Hauenherm, DA2, Choi-Eun-Byoel, Astrid Stoeppel, Saxon Quinn and Morgan Booth. The proceeds of each painting will go on to fund social projects across London. We’d like to thank all of the artists involved as well as the lucky collectors.

We would also like to give a big thanks to the clothing brand Mauvais, who earlier this month gave us 300 of their garments. This clothing donation will go towards handouts to the homeless with our partners across London.

Concurrently, Jake, the 4BYSIX writer (hello), spent a few weeks in Kenya’s capital with the Wajukuu Arts Collective. He… I was hosted by Shabu Mwangi, an artist and one of the group’s founders, in order to see their work and way of life. I am honored to have been invited into his family and see the positivity brought to their community. The collective is now made up of a few original artists and many younger adults who grew up in the group’s kids club. Every weekend they host 50-60 local children, teaching them how to draw, paint, sculpt, dance, and play the drums. On one of these weekends, a member, Lazarus Tumbuti and I pulled 14 of the more proficient painters aside. Their mission: to paint scenes and stories from their community atop the red bus panels I brought under my arm. The kids were talented, hilarious, and intently focused on their mission. Over the course of those two days I saw images develop of a neighborhood through young eyes. They painted a neighborhood paved with plastic refuse, with houses made of scrap metal, and a river dyed red with the chemicals of its nearby industrial estate. While they painted the problems, they too painted the poetry. They painted the multi-coloured facades of home businesses, wispy clouds, and peers playing with their expanse. One painting captures the ritual of collecting water. It shows a line of women congregating over their collection of yellow jugs, waiting to fill them at one of the few local water sources. Over my trip, the bright yellow cooking oil containers became a repetative symbol of Kenyan hardship, and this kid’s conscious imagery was humbling.

Beyond the community work, the collective also enables the professional work of its workshop teachers and facilitators. Its artists, including Shabu and Lazarus, show their art all over the world and work with some of the biggest galleries in Kenya. Alongside our upcoming auction of the childrens work will be an auction for a few panels painted by these artists. As great as the kids' work is, I’m really pleased to include some more conceptual work in the auction. More to come on these artists in a later bit of writing. As they still aren't recognised by any local government agencies or funding sources, I am really glad that we will be able to financially support them through the upcoming auction, so stay tuned.

In other news… In early May, our football team FC HOPE will be playing Genesis FC from Stepney Green in London. We wish them luck!