Theresia Kyalo — my art is my voice

Meet Kyalo Theresia, a mixed media artist based Nairobi, Kenya. Producing collections in various mediums from digital art to jewellery and film. 

What is your art inspired by?

My art is inspired and informed by conversations, emotion & moments through mixed media, digital art & doodle making techniques; majoring on exploration and interaction of space. Also, my art is generally a form of communication — my art is important because my voice is important.


The ability to express myself in manner that surpasses speech and dialogue is what draws me to being an artist.”


How would you describe the meaning of each series? 

Some series and pieces are social commentaries. Others are personal reflections of my own triumphs and struggles.

For instance; ‘Vijana Mtaani’ explores how different youths interact with each other in different neighbourhoods. It is a title exploring the different activities in communities and how they affect the youth in those communities: ‘an observation on how location, class and culture plays a role in the positive or negative growth of the youth.’

This is just but an example of what a specific series connotes. I’ve always been a firm believer of artists being mindful and critical of the messages within their work. So, as a result, I try to do the same with mine.


Alongside art you've also designed a jewellery collection plus directed and starred in a short film, are there any other mediums you would like to venture into?

Yes, there are a few. Performance art is one, I’ve always found such pieces so very interesting and engaging so I would like to try my hand at that. Printmaking & assemblage are others that I’ve got my eye on. 


As a creative, do you feel it is important to experiment with other mediums?

Absolutely, one's artistic ability is never set to a certain limit. So why limit yourself? 

Experimenting with other mediums kills monotony in your work. Also, you expose yourself to the flexibility that perhaps a prior medium might have limited you to.


Photography by Edwin Njeru


Can you tell us a bit about your film 'Signs of your identity' and what you wanted to portray?

Signs of your identity was a mixed media project. I had some digital art, ink on paper, photography and a film to really drive the project home. All this was part of the broader picture of showcasing what makes me, me. The short film was just a way to really solidify the concept of self-expression and awareness, an analytical exploration between the correlation of time and space, through the journey of self-growth and understanding.



What can we expect to see next from you? 

I am currently working on another photography and short film project. I’m also working on some ink pastels on paper and some sculptures. 



Interviewer: Swakara Atwell-Bennett

Interviewee: Kyalo Theresia

Photography: Edwin Njeru

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