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  • Michael Armitage
    Diamond Platnumz, 2016
    Oil on Lubugo bark cloth
    66 15/16 x 118 1/8 in. (170 x 300 cm)
    © Michael Armitage.
  • Michael Armitage

    Michael Armitage

    Baikoko at the mouth of the Mwachema River, 2016. Oil on Lubugo bark cloth © Michael Armitage. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby)
  • Michael Armitage
    Nasema Nawe, 2016
    Oil on Lubugo bark cloth
    86 5/8 x 129 15/16 in. (220 x 330 cm) © Michael Armitage. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby)
  • Michael Armitage
    The Octopus's Veil, 2016
    Oil on Lubugo bark cloth
    86 5/8 x 66 15/16 in. (220 x 170 cm)
    © Michael Armitage. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)
Fri 26 May - Sun 24 Sep 2017

This exhibition by Michael Armitage brings together a group of approximately 20 new and recent works. Armitage’s powerful and lyrical paintings on Ugandan lubugo bark cloth draw on personal and collective memories of life in Kenya, news and images circulating online, as well as Western art history. Often dealing with inequalities and prejudices in Kenyan society, his works are also full of East African cultural references, lush vegetation and animal life, painted in a fluid and expressive style. Armitage describes his work “as playing with the perception of a place”, exploring Kenya as his home country and as an ‘exoticised’ place seen from the outside.

The exhibition includes a significant number of new works, for example, a series based on Kenyan music star Diamond Platnumz, and Strange Fruit (2016), which depicts the lynching of an older woman who was accused by relatives of being a witch, in order to acquire her valuable land. Existing works include Hornbill (21st - 24th September 2013) (2014) about a terrorist attack on Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Centre and the first work Armitage made on lubugo, called Peace Coma (2012), in which he started to develop his characteristic style of layering, removing and reapplying paint.  

Michael Armitage: Peace Coma is part of Turner Contemporary's summer season ‘Every Day is a New Day’ asks that we start from scratch and look at the world differently.  A celebration of the capacity of arts to pioneer change, challenge perceptions and embolden society. It includes work by Phyllida Barlow, Michael Armitage and JMW Turner shown alongside teachers and pupils from Kent, Medway and Kenya.

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