Kenyan-born, Brooklyn-based visual artist Wangechi Mutu is known for her intricate collage works featuring beautifully grotesque figures in a world of fantasy and mythology.
The artist’s latest series ‘Nguva na Nyoka (Sirens and Serphents) draws on folkloric traditions about the ocean.
According to The Guardian,
When Wangechi Mutu first became aware of the sea mammal that coastal Kenyans call nguva, she knew she’d found the key to her next project. The nguva, or dugong, is a large mammal related to the manatee. It grazes on sea grass, and has a hippo-like head and fish-like tail. This chimerical appearance was part of the attraction. An even stronger pull came from the way the nguva was conflated with mermaids in stories told about errant fishermen and what they’d seen at sea. So she began to think about this other sense of nguva: the sirens and their mysterious power.
(Mountain of prayer, 2014.)
(My mothership, 2014.)
(History Trolling, 2014.)
(Beneath lies the Power, 2014.)
(A Tail about Sunset, 2014.)
(The screamer island dreamer, 2014.)
All images via The Guardian. Nguva na Nyoka is currently on view at Victoria Miro Gallery in London until December 19, 2014.