For Michael Armitage, painting is ‘a way of thinking through something.’ Born in Nairobi to an English father and a Kikuyu mother, his work has its roots in East Africa; its people, politics, history and mythology, its animals and landscapes. He paints enigmatic and ambiguous narratives on Ugandan lubugo bark cloth; its heavily textured surface marked by holes, stitching, bumps and woodgrain, both dictates and subverts the composition and handling of paint. Many of his works – including drawings and lithographs – address socio-political concerns. Dream and Refuge (2020), a lithograph produced as a fundraiser for Kenyan charities, portrays a homeless woman while highlighting the richness of her visions.
Michael Armitage (born 1984, Nairobi, Kenya) lives and works in Nairobi and London. Armitage studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and the Royal Academy Schools, London.