Dickens Otieno


Dickens Otieno’s practice is driven by the search for meanings in objects and materials that are discarded and no longer useful. Working with left over aluminium cans gathered from local kiosks, bars, and marketplaces, he weaves large sculptural fabrics – comparing the cans to natural materials that have for generations been used for weaving like reeds and palm leaves or fabrics woven into clothing. His sculptural tapestries engage intimately with material, labour and the processes of making, imbuing value, and calling attention to the potential for beauty present in objects that would otherwise be dismissed and discarded. Otieno’s recent compositions approximate the urban landscape of Nairobi. To varying extents, he reduces, abstracts, and also deconstructs the lines and shapes visible in and around the city, producing compositions that are approximations of the city and current situations within the country.

Works in the collection