Artist Meets Artist

VincentWorkshop

I had the privilege of meeting Vincent Oduol as I went with Kate on one of her trips. You know my wife Kato as one of the two Founders of Tinkered by. As Vincent led us through the labyrinth of Kibera alleyways to his studio, I was seeing her in a new light.

VincentSept2014-5074_Fotor_Collage

Kibera is the second largest impoverished area of its type in the world. Far from being removed or disheartened, Kate was respectful and almost excited. It wasn’t hard for me to see why. Despite adversity, in an ocean of tin shacks, you can suddenly find yourself walking through a circle of creativity, positivity, music and laughter.

VincentSept2014-5161_Fotor_Collage

Inside Vincent’s Studio

Vincent’s studio was an inspiration. I am sure he dreams of and is planning on a grander vision, but as an artist myself I was in slum heaven. He works primarily in Cow Horn and is a master tradesman employing several ‘Street Boys’, as they are known, but basically young men who have/had lost their way – it’s Vincent’s way of giving back.

VincentSept2014-5106_Fotor_Collage

Hand painting wax on bone beads, then dying for patterning.

Surrounding him are experienced Tinkers of every trade, working away, always ready to help their neighbouring artisans whenever their skill set is required. An up-beat place, a hive of activity!

VincentSept2014-5094_Fotor_Collage
I’m so glad I got the chance to visit. I think I know a bit more about why Kato is on her chosen warpath, hell bent on creating opportunities for these courageous artisans. I am also very grateful that I got to know Vincent. A patient and compassionate man who enjoys his work immensely. I know now why he has such a great smile, he’s at the top of his game and is an inspiration to his apprentices and everyone around him. When we left I told him that I would love to come back with some canvas and paints and be a part of it all. He laughed, and his smile got bigger. July 2015…watch this space Vincent!
Markham Boston.