Olivia Mae Pendergast
It was in 2008 that American-born artist Olivia Mae Pendergast discovered Africa, Malawi in particular. There she tirelessly painted the people she saw around her. Other trips would follow, Haiti, Bangladesh, but in 2016, she settled in Kenya, where she now resides. While she has recently begun to paint landscapes, Olivia Pendergast's favourite theme is the portrait, the figurative in the most literal sense. She captures "ordinary" people in their "quotidian" activities and makes them enter our visual field with ease. She saw a taxi driver, a man seated on a chair, a mother with a child; she painted them, as she saw them, without pursuing seduction, neither from the model nor the observer. Pendergast is an experienced artist. She completed her BFA at Columbus College’s five-year Art and Design program and began exhibiting her work in 1999. She first worked as a conceptual designer in the film industry in Los Angeles for five years after which she left California and retired to the mountains of Utah to paint full time. In 2007, she moved to Seattle to invest in her artistic activity before discovering Africa the following year. A renowned artist with multiple distinctions since 1999, Pendergast has exhibited on three continents (America, Asia, Africa), in thirty exhibitions, with equal success and her works are in several important collections, including that of the Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta.