Nicholas Mboya

In the Name of a Given God addresses the religious protest of the Legio Maria sect of Christianity in Kenya popular among the Luos (an ethnic group in Kenya). This series of collage works examines the emergence of the faith in the 1960s as a reaction against a white god’s influence after its founder father Simeo Ondeto, was excommunicated from the catholic church for the belief of Christ being of African descent. In the work, I look at my family’s religious background, both catholic represented on my father’s side and Legio Maria on my mother’s side. The work extends by observing the matriarchs of both the family partisans as keepers and disseminators of traditional values among luos in my upbringing experience as a luo therefore, magnifying the chain of repetition. Using image transfers, paper collages, and oil paint, the pieces of works (in the name of a given god I,II) show young female members of the Catholic church and the Legio Maria faith in the Luo land of Nyanza province. In addition to exploring shifting hegemonic influences, these artworks also explore Luo culture and Christianity. This includes the blurry lines between spirituality and religion as well as the clash between tradition and modernity. I am fascinated by how perceptions and beliefs change, especially when they pertain to protests as a means of redemption. – Nicholas Mboya