Namatsi Lukoye

Kenya - Poetry & Visual art

Namatsi Lukoye

Jacqueline Lukoye Namatsi (Artist name : Namatsi Lukoye)

  • AGE : 36
  • COUNTRY of residence : Kenya
  • CITY : Nairobi
  • ARTISTIC DISCIPLINE : Poet/Visual Artist
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The artist

A few words about your artistic journey

I started writing in primary school and performance art in 2010. I started with participating in poetry slams transending into band performances and then produced 2 albums. Later I started fashion costumes from pieces of waste which eventually led to the formation of the ESPA initiative (Environmental Sustainability Promoted by Art).

How long have you been an artist ?

I remember creating artworks and writing stories since I was in primary school. Doing it professionally I started in 2011.

Why did you apply for this grant ? How will the grant support you ?

I am applying for this grant because I never imagined how hard the pregancy journey is and to be on it during this period is worth telling. I am able to feel and express the increasing stress and uncertainty for many expectant mothers around the world brought by covid. There is limited information on how the virus affects pregnant women and their babies amd strict social distancing guidelines that have increased mental distress for women as they are deprived of the support. The grant will help in its production

What are your concrete artistic objectives after this residency ?

My objectives are :-

  1. To artistically express pregnancy and reproductive health issues during Covid
  2. To inspire hope, share fears and advice from doctors in unique and powerful way
  3. To create a lasting image and a pressing call that will lead to calmness, understanding and assurance for tomorrow

Her residency

What did you achieve during this creative residency ? What is the result (created work) ? Who was involved in the creation process ?

I achieved my target, most importanly I lost myself in work and found myself as well. I managed to produce a poetic Visual EP consisting of 4 pieces of art. I recorded four audios, did 3 videos and created up to 10 costumes designs for the videos. I am very lucky to come from a creative family and as we quarantined together, my mother a fashion designer was able to help me with the sewing, my sister helped with two designs as well as painting my stomach during the video recording. As a musician, my brother added vocals to the sound. I finally also worked with a recording studio called 254 CMG studios and a film crew called 1900 films.

How do you think these activities contribute to a reflection on today’s world, in relation to the COVID-19 crisis, and/or on the shaping of the future ?

I joined a couple of pregnant women support groups on social media To capture their fears, what they were going through so that I would be able to tell a story of many women. There is a lot of fear on how to protect ourselves from this pandemic while living in a crowded society. My attention was on blocking the anxieties of the world and concentrating on the life forming inside of you. I celebrated motherhood, especially now with the rise of unexpected pregnancies and rise of unsafe abortions. I also celebrated the babies born during this period, calling them warriors, and I defined the world I wish for them tomorrow. My last piece captured what is happening right now and how people should come together to heal, rather than die alone due to changes affecting our economy and lives

How did you feel during the residency ? And at the end of it ?

This grant gave me purpose, instead of worrying, I was busy creating. I was constantly thinking of ideas, what to do next and what to make next. Finally I am done with the work and I feel that pregnant women all over the world will appreciate this. I feel really relaxed to have done something artistic this year when all hope was gone.

Her artwork

To Brighter Days

God’s artroom