• The exhibition is the first of a planned biannual event
• It attracted 874 entries from 14 countries including Germany, UK, Poland, Iraq and Kenya
• Had three categories — ages five to eight, nine to eleven and 12 to 14 — each had three winners
• Judging was based on interpretation of the theme, use of colours or materials, general presentation and creativity
By Kiundu Waweru
An ongoing art exhibition at the National Museum in Nairobi is a display of the amazing talent children have when given a paint brush and liberty to be creative.
The children, aged five to 14, from around the world, were asked to illustrate, through painting, the theme ‘We are the World’.
The exhibition organiser, David Kimani, said they received more than 800 entries from around the world for the Nairobi International Children’s Art Exhibition 2012.
And the children presented captivating artwork. For example. Judges described the winning piece by Karishma Shah in the 12-14 years category as thought provoking and complex. In the art, the Oshwal Junior High School student depicts a world that sees everything through the same, one eye. She paints the giant eye in the middle of the globe, which is held by people with happy faces and from different nationalities. On the fringes of the happy faces is a white dove that holds in its mouth the flags of the world. Two hands clasped in a handshake emanate from the belly of the dove creating a circle that envelops the happy faces holding the globe.
Symbol of love
The art by Simran Pawar, 14, also from Kenya, is not as complex as Karishma’s, but it is equally creative. She displays all continents as one, with ‘One Nation Essence’ painted on a flag and at the bottom, she has hands clutching the cupid, the symbol of love, and pointing towards the continents.
Victor Kimani, 13, a pupil at Kiserian Primary School, interpreted the theme to mean taking care of the environment and wildlife.
Kimani’s entry is on paper collage and he uses glue to paste newspaper cuttings, which depict an ecosystem and people replenishing the environment by planting trees.
“We should plant more trees instead of cutting them. We should take care of our wildlife which will bring the world to us,” he says.
Most of the children’s entries, which attracted participation from 14 countries, show that children are not too young to grasp what peace, love and harmony around the world is.
After all, children are the greatest casualties when there are turmoils, wars, and environmental degradation.
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