Kenyan Artist With Unique Art Receives Global Recognition

  • Tina Benarwa with her painting at Hotel Intercontinental
    Tina Benarwa with her painting at Hotel Intercontinental
    Kenya Arts Review
  • A Kenyan artist, Tina Benawra, has received global attention following her unique art pieces done with braille to attract the visually impaired as well as regular fans.

    In an interview with Anadolu Agency on Saturday, February 26, Benawra disclosed that she learnt how to draw art in braille while in school.

    Some media outlets have touted her as probably the only person in the world who does that kind of art.

    She further noted that she does her artwork at her Nairobi studio and inspired by the injustices she sees and life experiences.

    Tina Benarwa at her studio in Ngara, Nairobi.
    Tina Benarwa at her studio in Ngara, Nairobi.
    Kenya Arts Review

    "I am motivated by challenges our environment is experiencing and the different people I meet. I take my inspiration from just anything and everything, but prefer to raise awareness about things troubling our society.

    "Such is a message that I put in my paintings and the same messages can be read and felt by the blind. I make my paintings, not for the people who can see only but also for the blind who can feel the images and interpret them," she stated.

    Her work has been featured in international media houses including Deutsche Welle (DW) in Germany, Anadolu Agency in Turkey and Euronews.

    Benawra, 39, also noted that she donates some of her artwork to aid visually impaired children and that some proceeds from her work is aimed at helping people living with disabilities (PLWDs).

    "I donate braille paintings so that they can be auctioned and the money is used to help visually challenged children," she added.

    In a previous interview, she had indicated that she uses  text and layers of paint to create a textured canvas.

    "I had to really focus on learning Braille.

    "This is an important aspect when you are going to work with visually impaired and blind people, that you get their language accurate because, if they can go to a world with accuracy and open mindedness, we should also be able to dictate that towards ourselves internally," she told Euronews in 2018.

    Fans interact with Tina Benawra's art.
    Fans interact with Tina Benawra's art.
    File