In a room that is both home and studio, Evans Ngure works on a sculpture, a fantastical fish fabricated from found objects: wooden spoons, broken scissors and an old machete.
Long before upcycling became a hipster mantra, Ngure turned his Nairobi apartment into a workshop, and junk into art, his choice of artistic expression echoing a necessary developing world culture of re-use.
After trying his hand at painting and graphic design, Ngure became a “junk artist” as an act of reciprocity and community.
People “end up seeing my work, they relate to it, so they take part by giving me stuff that I can use,” he says.
The artist’s imprint is clear on the roof of the four-storey apartment building where he lives in the north of the Kenyan capital: reclaimed art is scattered about, a strip curtain made from hundreds of buttons leads inside.
To live from his art, Ngure makes and sells everything from small items of jewellery, to large pieces of art. Wire pendants, earrings and bracelets sell for $5-2 while bigger works and sculptures cost hundreds. Read more