East Africa

An Ode To Carbon Life: Evans Ngure and Wallace Juma’s Exhibition at Alliance Francaise, Nairobi

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Artists Evans Ngure and Wallace Juma unite for an “An Ode to Carbon Life” exhibition at Alliance Francaise, Nairobi. The exhibition syncs with the Africa Climate Summit, 2023, as the artists pondered the optimal human-carbon coexistence. Through their works, they reimagined carbon as a life-giver, intertwined with the drama of earthly existence.

The exhibition opened its doors on Wednesday, August 30th, with Juma and Ngure addressing the pressing global concern of carbon. Ngure’s and Juma’s creative voices synergize, forging a narrative encapsulating humanity’s intertwined relationship with carbon.

Something Fishy, 2022, Mixed media, 70 x 90 cm. Image courtesy of the artist.

The exhibition’s underlying message reverberates strongly, urging introspection on our carbon-centric lives. Visitors found themselves immersed in a thought-provoking visual journey. The artworks provoked the viewer’s imagination, juxtaposing raw carbon elements with the vibrancy of human activity.

Juma’s paintings offer a contemplative space where carbon’s essence intertwines with the meaning of life itself. The seamless blend of mediums creates a sensory experience that resonates profoundly with the audience. Transitioning from one artwork to another, the audience is treated to amazing sculptures adorned with found objects and materials. On the other hand, Evans’s pieces evoke curiosity, leading observers to question their understanding of the role of carbon and their lives.

Veiled Chameleon, 2023, 52 w x 30 h x 9 d cm, belt buckle, scissors, lapel pins, buttons, necklace, pendants, beads, spoons, door knob, vintage clock bell, and found objects on wood. Image courtesy of the artist.

Conversely, Juma’s sculptures testify to the malleability of carbon’s symbolic representation. The transition from solid to ethereal elements in his work mirrors the shifts in our perception of carbon’s role in our lives. The exhibition’s inception, coinciding with the Africa Climate Summit, underscores the urgency of the climate dialogue. Ngure and Juma, through their collaborative efforts, encourage viewers to perceive carbon not merely as an abstract element but as a force that impacts our very existence.

The joint exhibition is an artistic ode to the intricate dance between humanity and carbon. The artists open a gateway for reflection and dialogue by exploring the coexistence dynamics. The exhibition is on till the 15th of September. To check out the details, click here.


Rose Mwikali Musyoki is a creative writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance from the University of Embu, Kenya, and is the founder of Bloom Inc, an art startup in Kenya. Currently, she works as a writer for Art News Africa.

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