I started communicating with Elisha Ongere when he discovered my website and wrote to me about promoting his paintings. I was very excited to have my first female artist to promote! However, since then, and through a series of mishaps, the paintings he sent me via a number of persons missed meetings, connections, became lost and then found, and eventually after ten months landed in my hands on my recent visit to Kenya. Imagine my surprise when I opened the tightly and carefully wrapped roll of paintings to find an incredible array of wonderfully imaginative and unique paintings! In addition, I was a bit embarrassed to find that Elisha was a guy – my bad! We had a good laugh about this when we eventually spoke by phone. Ongere was very courteous and the issue was too minor to formally address by email.
Since them we have met several times in Nairobi. Elisha is a thoughtful man and serious about his craft. Unlike many artists, he puts a lot of thought into his paintings, each with their own personal meaning.
Since that time Elisha has sent to me more paintings through the post. However, because they were shipped prior to being fully ‘cured’, they stuck together and sadly, were ruined.
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Ongere’s paintings have only been on display in Kenya’s National Museum and the famous Gallery Watatu. They are brilliantly creative and though simple, express both African culture and sentiments.