Artist Who Paints For the Blind
Art Business

Artist Who Paints For the Blind

Tina Benawra at her art studio in Nairobi’s Ngara estate. PHOTO | MARGARETTA WA GACHERU | NMG Yet once you meet Tina Benawra, the diminutive Kenyan artist who loves painting on large canvases like the one currently on display in the front lobby of Nairobi’s Hotel Intercontinental, you won’t be surprised to find that very little looks impossible to her. Growing up in Ngara, the only little girl in a ‘hood full of busy little boys, Tina joined in on all their games, including making toy matatus and cars from Kimbo tins, soda bottle tops and wires. “I think that’s when I acquired my taste for both art and science,” says the former biophysicist turned filmmaker turned visual artist, whose paintings literally speak to the visually impaired. Having grown up the middle child between two brothers, Tina’s parents were conventional enough to educate their boys while encouraging their girl to get a job. Tina completed her A-levels on a scholarship but then went to work as a flight attendant. That’s how she got to Basel, Switzerland where she found the Open University that enabled her to study and work simultaneously. It was the sciences that intrigued her most initially. […]

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