Painters 2015

Zihan Kassam

Zihan Kassam is both an artist and a fine arts writer. Focusing on Kenyan contemporary painters, she reports, critiques and catalogues for various publications and art establishments in Kenya. She has worked as an art correspondent for two of the top newspapers in Kenya, The Nation and The Star. Last year, she researched and wrote the 2014 East African Art Auction catalogue for Circle Art Agency in Nairobi, Kenya.

Using acrylic and charcoal, Kassam’s artwork combines elements of nature, texture and the psyche. Her abstract paintings investigate the state of rest, repetitive thought patterns, our relationship with nature and other psychological concepts. A budding artist on the Kenyan art scene, she produces large-scale commissioned works for private residences in Nairobi. She has also exhibited at several venues in Kenya, with an annual exhibition each year at The Talisman Restaurant in Nairobi.

Kassam was the event writer for the Lamu Painter’s Festival 2015. She participated as a part time artist, earning the nick name “speed painter” for her quick strokes and unrestrained style. She experimented with oil paints for the first time, sometimes using the back of a paintbrush to scribble in to wet paint. She approached plein-air painting from a completely different angle from other festival artists, using abstract shapes and forms to convey the energy of the sites she visited.