74 msafi ri PORTFOLIO THE INSPIRATION FOR Kamal Shah's painting and works in multimedia " comes from everywhere" but basically from his triple heritage in Africa, India and Europe. He was born in Kenya in 1953, graduated from Leeds University with a degree in literature and fi ne arts, then got a diploma in textile design. In Nairobi he has run an art gallery and an avant- garde multimedia workshop called Kichaka and paints in both Kenya and India. " The Indians necessarily fi nd African references in my work, and the Africans think they see Indian infl uences – often they're talking about the same thing," he said in his airy studio in the family compound in Parklands, Nairobi's traditional South Asian neighbourhood. Shah is best known for his multimedia panels done with layers of oil or acrylic paint, cowrie shells, papier NAIROBI ART CONTACTS KUONA TRUST Likoni Close ( off Likoni Lane off Denis Pritt Road) ? Tel: 0721 262326 / 0733 742752 ? www. kuonatrust. org THE GODOWN ARTS CENTRE Dunga Road in Industrial Area ? Tel: 555 227/ 555 770 ? info@ thegodownartscentre. com RAMOMA GALLERY 2nd Parklands Avenue ? Tel: 374 8618 ? ramoma@ africaonline. co. ke Kamal Shah OTHERS WILL EXPERIMENT, AND I HOPE I AM ONE OF THOSE. I HOPE I HAVEN'T COME TO THE END OF MY LEARNING PROCESS KAMAL SHAH maché and other bits and pieces, but at the same time he is trying to separate this work from what he calls his " less- detailed and more spiritual" painting. " The process of working has become very different; it's a meditative process rather than a specifi c one – more abstract and universal. My earlier paintings were so bright and colourful I'm actually embarrassed. I'm getting subtler." He loves to plunge into the evolving Nairobi art scene. " There are new aspects, newer angles, but some artists can get stuck. Others will experiment, and I hope I'm one of those. I hope I haven't come to the end of my learning process. I have dabbled in sculpture, now I'm including some papier maché. I have a secret plaster recipe, but even it is changing." " For me painting is not a 9- to- 5 job; I work all the time. At the end of the day if there's paint on the palette, I do a little more; I am always very reluctant to throw anything away."