Nairobi based photographer Thandiewe Muriu began her Camo series of photographs with the intention of celebrating African fabrics featuring bright geometric patterns with optical-illusion sensibilities. Bug her portraits ended up meaning so much more. Only the subjects’ faces and hands are visible among the yards of fabric, but the focus turns more to their expressions than on the brightly-colored surroundings and garments.
“When I source fabrics, I look for something that I can look at and it almost feels alive. Something bold, slightly confusing on the eyes, and less traditional. In my images, the fabric acts as the backdrop that I can celebrate my culture on. It is a bright, welcoming canvas that I can highlight what I love about my fellow Kenyan people.”– Thandiew Muriu
Muriu adds everyday items from her life in Nairobi to the photos, items like straws, brushes, and bottle tops, as references to her neighborhood’s history. She also makes a point to feature natural African hairstyles, a feature of her Kenyan culture she doesn’t want to be lost.