The work I create is an embodiment that defines me as a photographer to bear
witness to my world, of what is within me and before the lens of my camera;
extracts of my reflections through the passage of time, I delight in creating and
sharing. I thank all, especially that one person who has seen and heard the voice
in my photographic works. That one person keeps me shooting.
To keep on photographing and mentoring. I have a developed keen interest
in a mentoring program being fronted by the alumni community of my former
college - the University College for the Creative Arts, in Farnham- UK.
2012- Official web site http://fananapicha.odipodev.com
2011 – 2010 – Developed an obsession of photographing birds that visit the compound where I stay in Nairobi. Hopefully, this will give some
insight as to why nature is important to man. It is my way of appreciating and preserving it. Hence, there is a lot I can learn from
the birds’ behaviour.
I am also exploring the possibilities of using graphic softwares to create computer aided works of art like photomontages.
In order to understand the underlying structural forms beneath appearance of a straight photograph.
2013 – 2009 - Part time Photography Tutor and Stone Sculptor.
Solo Photo Exhibition
1994- Held solo exhibition at the then Yakini Gallery in Nairobi Kenya where I revisited
Demystifying Exoticism, my degree project.
2011 - A Multimedia Art Exhibition at the National Museums of Kenya. Stone sculptures.
2009 – 2008 - Piga Picha Nairobi studios documentary Photo show at Goethe Institute
and at National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi.
2008 – Light and Shade photography exhibition during month of Photography at
Alliance Francaise Nairobi.
2011 – 2010 – ‘A’ for Africa photography in June at Alliance Francaise Nairobi.
2008 - International Contemporary Art Exhibition organized by Bayreuth University in
2004 – HIV multimedia Exhibition at the National Museums of Kenya
1996 and 1993- Africa Festival Images of the Africa Photo Exhibition at the Copenhagen
International Theatre In Denmark.
1993 - “World of Difference on Art, Tourism and Cultural Dialogues” at Euphrat Gallery
De Anza College Cupertino California, USA.
1990 - Mixed show ‘Training Together” organized by the British Council for the Returnee
students show cased my Demystifying Exoticism degree photographs in at the
ICEA building, Nairobi Kenya.
1989 - Demystifying Exoticism degree show in London.
2013- Facilitated a ten days Advanced photography Training workshop with Mwelu Foundation Mathare Bonden Youth in Nairobi during the month
2009 - Conducted a beginner’s workshop on photography at the Alliance Francaise,
Nairobi during its month of photography in June.
2008 - Coordinated a panel of discussion on “Redefining Kenyan Photography” during
the month of photography in June at the Alliance Francaise, Nairobi Kenya.
Selected Publications with my works.
2006 – Centennial Anniversary Edition book for Parklands Sports Club in Nairobi
2003 – Voices from the field book- contributed one photo image for CGIAR and ILRI
1996 - Contributed four photographs including the cover picture for the book “IMAGES
OF THE WEST' published by Baobab Books in Harare Zimbabwe with Images of
the Africa in Copenhagen Denmark.
1994 – Cover Photography and layout for Anna Yardeni’s book A Testament of My Time.
1993 - Contributed one photo image for the book “AFRICA AFRICA” published by
Images of Africa in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1992- Cover photography for Lady Susan Wood’s book 'Reflection in a Dusty Mirror'.
1992- Layout and Cover design for An American Poet Anna Yardeni’s book 'Dream
Does Not Die'.
1989 - Hold a BA Hon. Degree in Photography, Film Video and Animation from the
University College for the Creative Arts, formerly West Surrey College of Art and
Design at Farnham UK.
Other Professional credentials
1983 - City & Guilds of London Institute certificate in Graphic Reproduction.
1981 – The Kenya Polytechnic Diploma in Graphic Design.
Comes from the works of many African writers and poets among them the late Okot p’Bitek, the Laureate Wole Sonyinka, Julianne Okot p‘Bitek, the South African poet Mazisi Kunene including American writers like Maya Angelo and Anna Yardeni.
Also from a host of Photographers like the late Ansel Adams whose artistic master pieces in 1930’s America he created helped to conserve nature in American national Parks. Last, but not least, my former tutor in photography at the Kenya Polytechnic the late Stephen Paul Jones, whose great enduring spirit and determination to achieve something against the odds will always be with me. Without him I would never have known how to ‘think photographically’ in all things that make sense in my life.
Also my family, friends, students, people, nature, in my every day life are great inspirational source. Through them I understand the world around me. My father who taught me something about quality; that satisfaction should come first from self examination that is to be my own critic first in everything do. Believing that I can do it is good, but not enough, doing it is even better. He taught that our greatness lies in all the things we create and excel in and not in material strife. Finally, my mother who taught me idleness is an enemy of time; that instead, doing work, any work is rewarding, having respect, humility, patience, modesty, being there for others and fearing God brings out the best in all of us.
My clientele over the years range from advertising agencies, Public Relation farms, both Local and International Non-governmental Organizations, Parastatals, Leading financial publications, Magazines, Fashion, Graphic designers, Galleries, Upcoming and Leading local musicians and etc.
My photographic work depends on the nature of the assignment at hand and the client’s need. These assignments fall under the genres of photography repertoires in advertising, documentary, fashion, editorials, corporate and art. When I am shooting for myself I tend to have a strong bias towards art photography where my creativity is not confined within the parameters of the client’s brief and I am able to exercise more freedom as an artist photographer. In my documentary work, it is important that I capture individual images that can stand and tell a complete story on their own as well as effectively be juxtaposed with others in a narrative form.
My personal work is both studio and location based. In studio, I work with individual subjects, in most cases like the upcoming and established artistes from the East African region, fashion models and others that best exemplify the themes I am working on. The themes are usually archetypal, dwelling on contemporary issues like social, cultural in respect to emerging identities among the African youth within the domain of globalization.
The subjects, which inspires me in my documentary work varies from nature, wildlife and domestic animals, Birds, informal portraiture, landscapes, cityscapes, urban poor and rural settings, people; children, ordinary men and women in their homes, at cultural, social and informal the open air 'jua kali' market settings.
My art photography embraces all genres including the pure abstract forms and photo montages I create using Photoshop which I find to be a great asset when it comes to the editing and assembling of the various images together-giving such a relief from the laborious, trial and error, traditional film and darkroom technique.
In summary, my work is about the way I see life through the people and things around me i.e. friends, strangers and nature alike. It is about life in its various forms of simplicities and complexities; expanse of humanity and nature wrapped in a beautiful co-existence…which in Alfred Stieglitz words ‘is inherent in everything around us.’
MORRIS G.M. KEYONZO
Independent Kenyan still Photographer: September 2013