Dickens George Otieno is a 37 year old Kenyan artist (sculptor and painter) based at the GoDown Art Center.
Finding meaning in things that seem otherwise useless is what interests Dickens the most. The medium has become the art form for him – recycled material. His current work is mainly produced from light beer or soft drink cans (foils) which he shreds and weaves through coffee wire into big ‘tin fabrics’, the inspiration having been triggered by the Ghanaian art legend El Anatsui.
These readily available cans are most suitable for his larger than life sculptures for their light weight and are adequately malleable. More so, to him he says, they feel much like palm leaves which have been used by many generations to weave. They also remind him of the conflicts the modern world has created… the presence of utilities coupled with pollution, and the need to recycle.
His environmental consciousness has attracted the attention of many including media houses especially in urging the youth to be more aware and protect their environment. In this scope, he has been involved in the Vijana in Action initiative.
He has participated in various exhibitions the most recent being ‘An Afternoon with Art’’, organized by The Little Art Gallery, in ‘Manjano’ – Nairobi Province Arts Exhibition where he was awarded as having the second best artwork in the exhibition. He also participated in the recent Village Market’s exhibition in support of KCCL, a charitable effort to raise funds for hunger stricken Northern Kenyans.
His unique weaving technique also earned him participation in the Bamcraft workshop, organized by KEFRI and UNIDO. It was geared at designing and developing new bamboo products to help internally displaced persons from Mau forest – the aim being affordable sustainable living