Robin Anderson artist

Lately, we have been celebrating women artists and women in all fields of work and life . Today, I would like to take you to Kenya to see one of the countries (if not the African continent) premier women artist who was at the forefront of African modern art.

#RobinAnderson (1924-2012) was born in Kenya but her early training was done in London at Heatherley’s Art School. She returned to #Kenya shortly after finishing her studies. And with two fellow artists and friends opened the #GalleryWatatu in the early 1960’s.

‘In the beginning, Masailand, Kenya’ – gouache by Robin Anderson @ 1948

Robin became famous in the early 60’s for her silk batik paintings and prints which she sold via the gallery. She developed her own technique which combined oils, watercolour, batik and screen printing in the creation of works. She had traveled across Africa with her father and used what she had experienced as the source of her inspiration in producing ‘elegant figures and wildlife scenes’.

Masai Boyhood – gouache by Robin Anderson @ 1948

I came across and acquired three pieces by Ms Anderson. They are not silk batik works but are done in gouache on paper (from her early period). Striking colours and impressionism leap from the page. An amazing eye for structure and balance draw the viewer into her work. There is a sense of power and awe, of the harshness of life and yet peace and wonder are contained here through the beauty which is displayed.

‘What is man? (Victoria Falls) – gouache by Robin Anderson @ 1949

These pieces call out to the viewer. ‘Stand and gaze upon me’. These pieces are the true celebration of the female artist, who was Robin Anderson.

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