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Catherine Anyango Grünewald

Studio grant holder in Stockholm 5 May – 25 October 2022

Catherine Anyango Grünewald is an artist and lecturer born in Nairobi, Kenya, living and working in Stockholm. She was a teacher at the Royal College of Art in London for ten years and is now a Senior Lecturer in Illustration at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm. In 2010, her graphic novel adaptation of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was published to critical acclaim and has been translated into eight languages. In 2018 she illustrated Scandorama, a dystopian Scandinavian graphic novel written by Hannele Mikaela Taivassalo. Her own upcoming graphic novel 2×2 explores the physical effects of guilt and corruption. She is also currently working on a graphic novel adaptation of Sister Helen Prejean’s Dead Man Walking which will be published by Random House. Catherine’s works use the materiality of drawing to explore meaning, exploiting the physical properties of the pencil and the eraser to render events with realism, but also to explore unseen dimensions. Her drawings tackle the historical and contemporary systemic oppression of characters who have been marginalised and underrepresented. The process and labour invested in the work is a direct homage to the subjects, victims of violent domestic or institutional crimes.

Photo: Catherine Anyango Grünewald

During her IASPIS residency she will expand on her drawing and experimental animation practice, focusing on the effect of varied materials on the perception of the work. She is interested in the use of drawing to explore the ‘observer effect,’ defined in physics as the disturbance of an observed system by the act of observation. How do artworks change as they are being observed? How does the choice of how to physically make them influence their meaning? These questions relate to her interest in materiality and processes, as well as her subject matter: the careful re-documentation of different types of trauma.

Catherine Anyango Grünewald studied at Central St Martins, the Royal College of Art, and University College London. Her recent exhibitions include: Drawing Attention (2022),The British Museum, London; Makt/Egenmakt (2018), Malmö Form/Design Center; Graphic Witness (2017), The Drawing Room, London; The 5th International Typography Biennale (2017), Seoul; A+: 100 Years of Graphic Communication by Women (2016), London; Prison Drawing Project (2016), UK; Crying Out Loud (2016), Bristol; Comix Creatrix – Women Making Comics (2016), London; (2016), Animate Projects, UK; Wiener Festwochen (2016), Vienna; 3 881 days (2016), Blank Lab Gallery, Cape Town; Lux Artist Moving Image Festival (2015) Glasgow; Derwent Drawing Prize (2015), The Mall Galleries, London; Waste Not, Want It (2015), Bloomberg Space, London; Ensuite (2013), Roca Gallery, London; Cartographies of Life & Death (2013), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands (2012), British Library, London; A Room for London (2012), Queen Elizabeth Hall, London.

In 2019 she was awarded the Navigator Art on Paper Prize, the largest award for work on paper in the world. She is represented by Riflemaker Gallery in London.