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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 35 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.


Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga

Born in 1960, Naomi Wanjiku Gakunga grew up among the Kikuyu people of Kenya. She first    studied art at the University of Nairobi, Kenya before continuing her studies at UCLA, USA. She now lives and works in San Antonio, Texas. Gakunga has displayed works in numerous exhibitions in the USA, France, Brazil and Poland.

Her works are predominantly wall-hanging sculptures ingeniously created from tin cans, steel wire and oxidised sheet metal. Galvanised sheet metal, known in Swahili as mabati, is used mainly for roofing materials and walls. The material is particularly associated with the Mabati Womens Group and their empowering community housing projects of the ‘60s. Gakunga observed the success of their efforts, the harvesting of water from the new roofs and the consequent ageing of the material itself. Mirroring these weathering effects in her own artistic process, she deliberately saturates rolls of sheet metal in water, a process that oxidises the submerged surfaces, occasionally adding dyes to create different colours and other more complex effects. The delicate transformations etched in metal by the corrosive effects of water, chance and time, emphasise an ethereal, transient beauty. Another significant material found in these works is fibre or string.Gakunga continues to use string and ribbons as primary materials within her work, acknowledging the contemporary in her usage of fine grade metal wires.



Chemi Chemi - Springs That Nurture



Mũgogo - The Crossing


Matigari - Remnants

Rainy Season

Sahara Winds

Tears from Above


The Unravelling

Together They Marched


Ituika - Transformation

Mirũri ya Ũtheri - Rays of Light

Miarahũko - Almost Morning

Ithũῖro – Dusk

Folklorico IV
1992   MA Design, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
1985  BA Design, University of Nairobi, Kenya
Selected Solo Shows
2013   Solo exhibition, Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, Texas, USA
2012   Rio Patchwork Design: Contemporary Art Exhibition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Sao Paulo, Brazi
2010   The Art of Transformation, University of Texas, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Selected Group Shows
2015   Africa Africans, Museu Afro Brazil, São Paulo, Brazil
Art 15, Olympia National, London, UK

Africa Africans, Museu Afro Brazil, São Paulo, Brazil
Art 15, Olympia National, London, UK

2013   14th International Triennial of Tapestry, The Central Museum of Textiles, Piotrkowska, Poland
Rio Patchwork Design: Contemporary Art Exhibition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Sao Paulo, Brazil
2012   Women, Peace and Security Challenge, United Nations Visitor’s Centre, New York, USA
11th Quilt Nihon Exhibition, Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Nakamura-key, Nagoya-City, Aichi, Japan
The 18th European Patchwork Meeting, Ste Marie-aux Mines, Alsace, France
Fiber Art 2012, New Braunfels, Texas, USA
Art in the City, Southwest School of Art, San Antonio Texas, USA
2011   Women, Peace and Security Challenge, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
Confluence - Surface Design Show, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Softer Side of Things, Kerrville Arts Center, Kerrville, Texas, USA
Fiber Artists of San Antonio, Annual Show, Gallery Nord, San Antonio Texas, USA
2010   Triennial Global Intrigue II, Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Riga, Latvia
Texas Oklahoma Art Prize, Wichita Falls Museum of Art, Wichita Texas, USA
Fiber Twenty Ten, Foundry Art Center, St Charles, MO, USA
The Artful Table, Craft Alliance, St Louis, MO, USA
Inside Out- Fiber Art for the Human Form, Textile Center Joan MondaleGallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Assistance League of Houston Celebrates Texas Art, Houston, Texas, USA
2009   Photo September, Fiber Artspace, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Light Fantastic Exhibition, Main Street Gallery, Groton, New York, USA
Nothing New- Fiber Art from Recycled Material, Joan Mondale Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Surface Matters, Surface Design Association Members’ Exhibition, Kansas City Art Institute, USA
2007   Women of the World, Arcadia Art Center, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA
2005   Real Beauty, University of Maryland College Park, Maryland, USA
Imagining Ourselves Online Exhibition, International Museum of Women, San Francisco, California, USA
Scratching the Surface, Texas Federation of Fiber Artists, San Antonia, Texas, USA
San Antonio Celebrates Africa, Textures Gallery, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Women of the African Diaspora, Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Real Beauty, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
2004   Women of the World, Tallinn Art Hall, Estonia, Akureyri Museum, Iceland; Gerdenburg Cultural Center Reykjavik, Iceland; Cultural Center, Athens, Greece; International Museum of Women, San Francisco, California; Mobile Museum, Alabama, Brenau University, Georgia, USA
2003   Women of the World, Women’s Art Gallery, Ohio, USA
2002   Women of the World, Volvo Gallery, Stockholm, Sweden; University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA; University of New England, Maine, USA; Tucson Museum, Arizona, USA
2000   Women of the World, White Columns, New York; Flint Institute, Michigan, USA
1998   Global Women’s Project, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA
1995   Holiday Art Show, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, USA
1994   The Ella Hill Hutch Art Exhibition, San Francisco, California, USA
1991   Solo Graduate School Show, Wilshire/Sieroty Building, Los Angeles, California, USA
1988   Group Show,French Cultural Center, Nairobi, Kenya
1987   Group Show, Goethe Institute, Nairobi, Kenya
Selected Book References

Paula Goldman. Imagining Ourselves: Global Voices from a New Generation of Women, International Museum of Women, Paw Prints, San Francisco, 2006.
Claudia DeMonte. Women of the World: A Global Collection of Art, Pomegranate Communications Inc., San Francisco, 2000.

2012   Sustainable Arts Foundation Spring Award
The 11th Quilt Nihon Award
2010   San Antonio Artpace Travel Award
Fiber Arts of San Antonio, Innovative Use of Material Award
1991   The Hilton International Award
Art Council Award, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
Penelope Rigby Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles, USA

Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Riga, Latvia
International Museum of Women, San Francisco, USA

October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 3AL Tel: + 44 (0)20 7242 7367