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Kimathi Donkor

Dr Kimathi Donkor attained his PhD at Chelsea College of Arts in 2016 with research centring on his production of paintings that explored unacknowledged Africana in Tate’s collection of British art.


His doctoral themes emerged from a practice that has consistently re-imagined encounters across Africa and its Diasporas, with historic figures like US anti-slavery leader Harriet Tubman featuring prominently—whilst contemporary crises such as the death of black Londoner Cynthia Jarrett during a police raid have also been key. Recent works, such as the ‘Notebook’ watercolours reflect ongoing interests in the pursuit of leisure, beauty and knowledge.

Donkor has held solo shows in London, Johannesburg, Armagh and Nottingham and his paintings have been curated in numerous group shows—including at the 29th São Paulo Biennial in Brazil, the Usher Gallery in Lincoln and Johannesburg’s Goethe Institute in South Africa. In 2016, two major works were acquired by the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and his awards, residencies and commissions include the 2011 Derek Hill Painting Scholarship for The British School at Rome.

Donkor gained his MA from Camberwell College of Art and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College. Writing about his painting can be found in journals and books including Black Artists in British Art: a History Since the 1950s (Chambers, 2014).

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