Born and brought up in Kenya, its nature, colour and sounds never leave you, no matter where you end up. Priya completed her further education in the Uk and graduated in textiles and graphics. She then moved back to Kenya and worked at a bronze foundry, a job which she says sealed her passion for art and wildlife and where she gained valuable experiences, understood art in 3D before moving on to pursue a career on her own. After numerous solo exhibitions and commissions in Nairobi, Priya moved back to the Uk. Her first successful solo exhibition was held at the Nehru Centre in London, an exhibition inspired by her roots called "A conversation with India" after which she was twice nominated for Wildlife Artist of the year by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and had the honor of exhibiting at the Mall Galleries alongside 100 other finalists worldwide. This wasnt enough for her, she wanted her work to be more than in a frame on the wall, which is when she started Mia Kora, going full circle and back to textiles 11 years later and with a wealth of experience, chaneling her scattered creativity and started producing Wearable Art, bridging the gap between Art and Fashion.
Through Mia Kora Priya has kept her ties with conservation efforts by various organisations which can be viewed under the Exclusive collection. Giving back to nature, what nature has given her.
My primary interest in wildlife had its origins in the contemplation of nature. However, my work has now moved into a more subjective emotional observation of the dire straits in which the fauna of the world has remorselessly been plunged. Through the interrogation of this subject it is my intention to redirect the gaze of the viewer from the romantic concept of an African landscape to a current worldview where the imminent danger of a disappearing species becomes the focus.
At present I am interrogating the notion of the relationship between myself, the viewer and the animal. Africa has always been portrayed as a savage continent within a romanticised framework. In contrast to this concept my viewer must inevitably realise that the greed, avarice and destruction that is prevalent in the Africa of today necessarily obviates this romantic notion. The landscape of Africa is being scarred every minute of every day. I am aspiring to setting up a conversation with my work that will elucidate a sense of awareness while informing the viewer without resorting to the cheap trickery of imagery that reflects the gore and guts of this destruction. I aim to be bold, in your face and to confront you, the viewer to see Africa through my eyes.
Karen Laurence Rowe
Born in Uganda, her family lived almost a nomadic existence, moving around East Africa. Home, in those early years was often a prefab wooden site house with lions and hyenas breaking the sounds of the night and constant attacks on the chicken house by various beasts! With no towns or cities around for hundreds of miles, Karen and her siblings would draw to entertain themselves. These memories of Africa’s virtually unspoiled landscapes, teaming with game and magnificent views, were to influence her subject matter as an artist in later years. Although Karen is most well known for painting African Wildlife – She is just as interested in capturing the landscapes, seascapes and the people of the country she is in. It is Karen's conservation efforts that attaracted Mia Kora to this artist, her work has been truly inspiring and we are honoured to be able to spread her work through wearable Art and be a part of the causes she supports.
"Never Before has it been so important to capture the creatures of this planet that are disappearing before our very eyes! I am deeply concerned about the rapid slide to extinction that so many animals across the planet are facing - With the dust of Africa ingrained in my brush and ingrained in my blood, I am compelled to capture its precious remnants.... before mankind has destroyed it all!
Born in London, Nancy Wood initially pursued a successful career in industry but spent much of her spare time producing large floral watercolours. In 1996 she started painting full time, coinciding with the move towards abstract themes. At that time she signed an exclusive contract with Demontfort Fine Art, One of the Uk's major Art pulishers, to sell her original artworks and limited edition prints. These works have been featured in the Grand Designs television series, Elle Decoration magazine and five of her paintings on board Cunard's Queen Victoria. Moving away from the commercial art, Nancy has been working on a new style, manipulating poured paint and ink. Its vibrant, fresh, unpredictable and wild. Here at Mia Kora we feel that depicts her perfectly. Nancy divids her time between Southampton, France and St Lucia.
Born in Sorengo, Switzerland, her father David Dobie emigrated to East Africa in 1948 to start the franchise for Mercedes Benz. Her mother, Rex Dobie moved to Kenya in the ‘50’s. She has a twin brother and a younger sister. Davina is back in Kenya after 10 years of travelling, during which time she lived in South Africa and New York. She moved to New York in 2011 for 3 summers after 7 years in SA.Back to painting in her homeland, she is engaged primarily in commissions, with orders recently varying between large beach scenes, nudes and arid bush scapes. Davina's painting ooze fun and freedom which is what we love about her. Her story is just as exciting as she is, do visit her website and read more about this very talented individual.
I’m thrilled to be back home where my heart is...
Art is a way of life for me - a comfort and a companion in an often tumultuous world. I feel so blessed to have this gift ! A gift of expression. A love from the heart. Painting is unique in all its forms. It's interpretive, a way of translating the world within me and the world around me. A way to be able to identify and make apparent the smallest details that may otherwise go unnoticed. To make the impossible possible in my surrealistic paintings.
Philip Galley has spent most of his adult life in Africa. His early years were spent working for International advertising agencies in Nigeria and Kenya as a senior member of their Creative Departments. His training began at a very young age at Moseley School of Art and was completed at Plymouth College of Art where he studied Fine Art, Lithography and did a Post Graduate course in Photography and Graphic Design.He painted throughout his life but began his career as a wildlife artist in earnest when he returned to the UK in 1993. He missed the spectacular scenery, the skies, the warmth and open spaces of Kenya and began to paint wildlife in his garage in Hampshire. He achieved success at Christie’s Wildlife Art Auction, The Mall Gallery in London, On Line Gallery Southampton, Marwell Hall Winchester and other venues.
Philip sadly passed away in March 2017 and we lost a fabulous artist and a very dear friend. We hope to keep his work alive through our scarves.