Covid 'positives' earn Nakuru artist global praise

Theuri developed his artwork during lockdown, portraying a rejuvenated environment

In Summary

• Emmanuel Theuri paints a world with clean air, no traffic jams and less shipping. 

• He was honoured during World Environment Day.

Nakuru artist Emmanuel Theuri paints a peaceful Covid lockdown world
Nakuru artist Emmanuel Theuri paints a peaceful Covid lockdown world

A youthful Nakuru artist who depicted positive aspects of lockdowns –clean air and peaceful reflection – during the Covid-19 crisis has gained international recognition.

The acrylic artwork of 23-year-old Emmanuel Theuri portrayed a rejuvenated environment due to reduced pollution from air transport, massive traffic jams and reduced marine activities.

Apart from the international acknowledgement during this year’s World Environmental Day, locally he won the 2021 Mask award. Plus, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission competition tasked artists to depict and interpret a peaceful election.

Interviewed by KNA today at the Nakuru art gallery, the self-taught Theuri said he has always trained his mind to see the positive aspect of all forms of disasters and calamities. For him, the limited human movements were a win-win for renewal of the earth.

He said he had not given his artistic talent the required devotion, until the lockdowns, when everything went quiet. He dedicated his abundant free hours to learning paintwork from the internet.

Emmanuel Theuri
ARTIST: Emmanuel Theuri
Image: KNA

Theuri said his artwork is of a different kind, hence, more noticeable compared to that of other local artists who tend to depict similar items of animals, village huts and skimpily clad women.

He said good artwork has no competitors because it tends to arrest the attention of the viewers, even those who claimed not to have any liking for art.

He said even the closing of the churches gave shepherds an opportunity to rest, walk in the woodlands and reflect.

Theuri said artists are paid too little and appealed for the respect accorded to other professionals, as it takes a lot of time and dedication to produce a single piece of art.

He thanked the Nakuru government for promoting artwork, and the opening of an art gallery, despite the few visitors.

The painter said there were a number of talented virtual artists in the county but they need professional training and promotion to earn a decent livelihood.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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