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The Jaunt

Elléna Lourens –Nairobi, Kenya


Silkscreen print, edition of 50, signed and numbered by artist, unframed

Destination: Nairobi, Kenya

Date: 6 - 11 February, 2024

Jaunt #103

27.5"h x 19.75"w

"My expectation going in to the Jaunt trip was to meet people and artists from a new country, to try new foods and experience a different culture. I ended up really enjoying learning more about the Swahili language and the different dialects in the surrounding countries, and meeting people from further North in Africa while hearing about some of the history of the languages spoken in their respective countries. 

I felt very lucky to be so welcomed by the people I met, and it was so special to experience more of Africa, to get a better understanding of the continent I’ve grown up on. I was able to meet up with a Kenyan artist named WiseTwo, as we have some mutual friends, and I was very grateful to have someone from there to hang out with, and to show me around. Everyone I met was really welcoming and also very interested to hear about South Africa. Together with WiseTwo I went to a Maasai market, the textiles that I saw there were so beautiful that I couldn’t resist bringing back one too many blankets with me, these hold very strong memories of Nairobi for me. 

For my artwork I have created an image of a woman wrapping herself in a blanket. The blanket is a literal representation of the hundreds of blankets I saw, whether in the markets, or wrapped around people in the streets, as well as being symbolic of the beauty, warmth and welcome I felt on my trip. For me this piece encapsulates the essence of my Nairobi experience—which felt like a fusion of warmth, hospitality, and cultural richness."  –Elléna Lourens