1-54 x Fedrigoni x Alfie Kungu
Fedrigoni Group is synonymous with excellence in the production of specialty papers for fine arts, high-end publishing, packaging, and self-adhesive materials, with the aim of elevating creativity.
With centuries of heritage, papers from Fedrigoni and Fabriano have been used by some of the most famous artists in history, from old masters like Michelangelo and Raffaello, to musical geniuses like Beethoven, modern icons like Georgia O’Keeﬀe and now contemporary artist Alfie Kungu.
Inspired by his Kenyan roots, Kungu drew upon nostalgic memories of carnival and celebrations, which are inherent within the diaspora. The pieces, like many of his recent works, were also an opportunity to connect with a wider community that he belongs to, but at times feels disconnected from.
Always adventurous and adaptable with his processes and materials, Kungu worked with inks and layered paint on Fabriano Artistico, made with 100% cotton, to create a sense of movement, fun, rhythm, and collective nature these evocative moments exude.
Splash Park, Medium – Ink , Acrylic, Oil on Fedregoni Paper
What inspired the pieces you created for 1-54 x Fedrigoni?
These pieces are inspired by an opportunity to connect with a wider community that I belong to but at times felt disconnected from. Drawing upon nostalgic memories of carnival and celebration which is inherent within the diaspora, I wanted to communicate this within these paintings and share the sense of fun rhythm and collective nature.
What was it like working on Fedrigoni paper?
It’s been a great opportunity to work on such fine paper. I really appreciate the variety provided. It allowed me to work in quite free techniques — layering the paint and working with inks.
Balloons On Lilac Lane, Medium – Ink , Acrylic, Oil on Fedregoni Paper
Can you speak about the animals and figures depicted within your work?
This series of work has been much less animal/cartoon character-based. Yet to some degree, it is still figurative. These characters are from a world of fondness and, to some degree, a reflection of positive memories from this world.
You’ve described your first trip to Kenya and how explorative you were at a young age. “I look back at it now, and I’d probably be much more apprehensive to do the things I was doing at that age, now,” you said. Do you think that trip — and the adventurous spirit it evoked — has impacted the way you approach your work?
In a sense it has, because I’m finding that this work I’m creating at the moment is a tool to connect with my dad’s side of the family who I don’t get to see very much. And when I’m creating my work, I always try to be adventurous and adaptable with my processes and materials.
Jump – Ink on Fedregoni Paper
The pieces will be exhibited in 1-54 Bookshop at the fair.