Wanjiku has been crying for over 10 years! She has been weeping tears for all this time.
Wanjiku is a painting made by Geraldine Robarts in early 2007. It represents Wanjiku, the typical African woman. Here, she is in her hut at dawn making porridge for her family, her back bent from constant hard work and effort. Behind her is her daughter stretching as she wakes up. On the right-hand side is her sister holding the latest baby. It is dark, smokey and gloomy. But these women are spiritual earth mothers.
In 2008 the painting, which is oil on wood, started to weep. Dark brown drips ran down the front as if Wanjiku cries for all the women who spend a lifetime working hard and who go unnoticed by society and the world.
Geraldine varnished the painting. It never stopped crying, and the crying increased more sometime during 2011 and drips fell onto the floor.
By 2014 Wanjiku was put to hang outside so the drips fell on the ground. Geraldine wondered – “what do I do now to stop this?” So the painting was given a thick coat of acrylic resin in 2016 to try to contain the problem. It was stable for about 18 months but then the tears ate through the supposedly solid resin and again the painting is weeping.
The tears just have to fall. One would imagine that as brown paint drips the image will fade, but that has not happened.
Geraldine has accepted that the tears of Wanjiku cannot be stopped. At night she prays for the improvement of the hardship suffered by so many women of Kenya. Perhaps the tears of Wanjiku will never stop until the plight of women can be made better.
“O Ye Rich Ones on Earth!
The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease.”