Installation view of Kimathi Donkor: Play, Rest, Work at University College Hospital London, May–July 2022

Kimathi Donkor’s art re-imagines mythic, legendary, historical and everyday encounters across Africa and its global Diasporas, principally in painting and drawing.

Prominent exhibitions include
War Inna Babylon at the ICA, London 2021, the Diaspora Pavilion (57th Venice Biennale, 2017) and the 29th São Paulo Biennial (Brazil, 2010). Awards, residencies and commissions include the 2011 Derek Hill Painting Scholarship for The British School at Rome. Links to critical writing about Kimathi Donkor’s work, as well as interviews, can be found in the ‘media’ section of this website.

Born in Bournemouth, England, Donkor is of Ghanaian, Anglo-Jewish and Jamaican family heritage, and as a child lived in rural Zambia and the English westcountry. He lives and works in London, where he is the Reader in Contemporary Painting and Black Art at the University of the Arts, London.

Art by Kimathi Donkor is held in collections including at The British Museum, The Wolverhampton Art Gallery, the International Slavery Museum, the collection of CCH Pounder and the Sindika Dokolo Foundation, amongst many others. He is represented by NIru Ratnam Gallery in London
, Gallery MOMO in Johannesburg and by Omenka Gallery in Lagos.


Chelsea College of Arts, 2016

MA Fine Art
Camberwell College of Arts, 2010

PGCE Art & Design
Goldsmiths College, 1990

BA (Hons) Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, 1987

Foundation Diploma Fine Art Bournemouth & Poole College of Art, 1984


2022, Play, Rest, Work

University College London Hospital, London, England (27 May–20 July, 2022)

2021, Notebooks ↗︎
Brixton Library, London, England (7 October–7 November, 2021)

2021, Idylls ↗︎
DKUK, London, England (27 September, 2021–9 January, 2022)

2015, Some Clarity of Vision ↗︎
Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg, South Africa (8 September–12 October, 2015)

2013, Daddy, I Want To Be A Black Artist ↗︎
Peckham Platform, London (24 September–24 November, 2013)

2012, Queens of The Undead ↗︎
Iniva: Rivington Place, London (12 September–24 November 2012)

2008, Hawkins & Co
Market Place Theatre Gallery, Armagh, N Ireland (9 May–7 June, 2008)

2005, Fall/Uprising ↗︎
Bettie Morton Gallery, London (4 November–3 December, 2005)

2005, Caribbean Passion: Haiti 1804 ↗︎
Art Exchange Gallery, Nottingham (touring) (5 October–18 November, 2005)

2004, Caribbean Passion: Haiti 1804
Bettie Morton Gallery, London (4 November–28 November, 2004)

1990, Black History for Action
The Woolwich Simba Project, London)

1989, Black History for Action
St Mary’s Centre, Lewisham, London


2022, The New African Portraiture: Shariat Collections
The Kunsthalle Krems, Austria. 19 November, 2022–12 March, 2023

2022, The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics
The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, England. 21 May–29 August, 2022.

2022, Yanga: Path to Freedom in the Americas
African American Museum Of Dallas, USA. 7 April–21 October, 2022.

2021, The Discerning Eye
Mall Galleries, London, England. 1 October–21 October, 2021.

2021, Bold Black British
Christie’s, London, England. 1 October–21 October, 2021.

2021, The Summer Exhibition
The Royal Academy, London, England. 22 September, 2021–3 January, 2022.

2021, The Butterfly Effect
The MAC, Birmingham, England. 21 September –21 November, 2021.

2021, Untitled: Art on the Conditions of Our Time
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, England. 10th July – 3rd October, 2021.

2021, War Inna Babylon: The Community’s Struggle for Truth and Rights
ICA, London, England. 7th July – 27th September, 2021.

2020, Queen: From the Collection of CCH Pounder
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit, MI, USA.

2019, London Art Fair
Business Design Centre, London, England

2018, Diaspora Pavilion: Venice to Wolverhampton
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, England

2018, A History of Drawing
Camberwell Space, London, England

2017, Diaspora Pavilion, Venice Biennale
Palazzo Pisani S. Marina, Venice, Italy

2017-18, Ink And Blood
International Slavery Museum, Liverpool, England

2017, Selling The Shadow
C-Gallery, Milan, Italy

2017, Sonic Soundings / Venice Trajectories
Geo-locational sound installation, Venice, Italy

2017, Untitled: Art on the Conditions of Our Time
New Art Exchange, Nottingham, England

2017, 154: Contemporary African Art
Pioneer Works, New York, USA

2016, EXPO Projects
EXPO Chicago, Chicago Il, USA

2016, Black Art in Focus
The Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton, England

2016, Peckham Platform Retrospective
Peckham Platform, London, England

2015, Defining the Narrative
Gallery MOMO, Cape Town, South Africa

2015, 154: Contemporary African Art
Somerset House, London, England

2015, They Came from Outer Space
The Goethe Institute, Johannesburg, South Africa

2015, Deptford X—Deptford Conversation
Deptford X Gallery, London

2014, JoBurg Art Fair
With Gallery MOMO at the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa.

2013, Entre Trânsitos e Viagens
Xerem at Carpinaria São Lazaro, Lisbon, Portugal

2013-2014, What’s Going On?
The Usher Gallery, Lincoln, UK

2012, Invisible Forces
Furtherfield Gallery, London

2011, Seven things to do in an emergency
British School at Rome, Italy

2011, Precious Little
St Martin-in-the-Fields, London

2010, Ha sempre um copo de mar para um homem navegar
29th Bienal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

2008, Hawkins & Co
Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool

2007, Hawkins & Co
Elspeth Kyle Gallery, London

2006, Telltale
Elspeth Kyle Gallery, London

2005, Orature
Stephen Lawrence Gallery, London

2004, Historicism
198 Gallery, London

2003, The Jamaican Influence
The Fridge Gallery, London

1987, Creation for Liberation
Brixton Library, London

1986, Young, Black & Here
People's Gallery, London

1986, Monti Wa Marumo
Brixton Art Gallery, London

1985, Creation for Liberation
Brixton Recreation Centre, London

1985, Black Artists for Azania
Upper Street Gallery, London

1985, Artists Against Apartheid
Royal Festival Hall, London


2019, De’Longhi Art Projects Artist Award.
Annual jury prize selected at the London Art Fair.

2016-18, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow
Two-year fellowship with the TrAIN research Centre at Chelsea College of Arts, London.

2015, Artist in Residence
Two-month invitational studio residency and solo exhibition at Gallery Momo in Johannesburg, South Africa.

2015, Gate Curate Artist in Residence
Two-month invitational residency and exhibition at the Gate Theatre, Notting Hill, London. Supported by the Chelsea Arts Club Trust.

2013, Xerem/Triangle Network
Two-week invitational studio residency with the International Artists’ Workshop in Lisbon, Portugal.

2011, Derek Hill Foundation Scholarship Award
Three-month invitational studio residency with the British School at Rome in Rome, Italy.

2010, Joya Residency
Two-week studio residency at Cortijada Los Gázquez in Almeria, Spain.


Works are held in public and private collections in the UK and internationally, including by the the British Museum, the Sindika Dokolo Foundation, the collection of CCH Pounder, the African Arts Trust, the Wolverhampton Art Gallery and the International Slavery Museum.


2012, Happening to Be
The Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. (10th September–27th October, 2012)
Commissioned by Shades of Noir/UAL to curate a multi-disciplinary exhibition featuring works by Yinka Shonibare MBE, Trevor Robinson CBE, Ngozi Onwurah, Professor Andrew Ramroop OBE and Professor Ablade Glover OBE.

2007-2008, Hawkins & Co.
Elspeth Kyle Gallery, London, (8th–30th March, 2007); The Contemporary Urban Centre, Liverpool, (7th March–5th May, 2008)
Commissioned by CUC to curate a touring group exhibition of contemporary art featuring work by Larry Achiampong (exhibiting as Kofi Achiampong), Faith Bebbington, Donna Berry, Jean-François Boclé, Marcia Brown, Chinwe Chukwuogo-Roy MBE, Paul Clarkson, Kimathi Donkor, Corrine Edwards, Joelle Ferly, Raimi Gbadamosi, Tam Joseph, George ‘Fowokan’ Kelly, Keith Piper, Barbara Walker, Pauline Wiggins, Jane Woolner.


2013, Daddy, I Want to Be a Black Artist
Seminars and museum visits with the Leaders of Tomorrow black youth group based in Peckham, London.

2012, Memory Styx
Drawing master class for 16–24 year olds at InIVA, Rivington Place, London.

2009-2011, Seeing Through
Studio workshops and museum visits for 12–18-year-old looked after young people at Tate Britain.

2009-2010 Anti-bully
Photography workshops for 12–18-year-old looked after young people at at Ealing Horizons, London.

2009, The Engine Room
Studio workshop and museum visits for staff and volunteers of Ealing Horizons.

2009, Be Inspired
Museum visit and workshop for 12-16 year olds with Lewisham Youth Offender Service, London.

2007-2009 Positive Reinforcement / Escapism / Who Me?
Classroom-based visiting artist projects with secondary and primary schools in London.

2007, Creative Roundtable
Museum education planning seminar at Kenwood House, London.


2012–present University of the Arts, London. Curently Course Leader BA Fine Art: Painting at Camberwell College of Arts.

Previously: Visiting Lecturer at Royal College of Art; Senior Lecturer and Acting MA Drawing Course Leader at Wimbledon College of Arts; Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins; Visiting Lecturer at Middlesex University, London; Associate Lecturer at Goldsmith College, London.


2021, Brixton Library, London, In Conversation with Lisa Anderson

2021, Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge,
In Conversation

2017, Royal Academy, London,
Black Art and Activism

2016, Wolverhampton Art Gallery,
Black Art in Focus

2015, Tate Britain, London,
The Black Subject: Ancient to Modern

2007, National Maritime Museum, London:
Voiceless Odysseys

2007, Imperial War Museum: