While learning this year about the bay area, my research turned its focus on the diversity of the plants. I find it fascinating that there is a huge variety of non-native plants from different climates, brought there and growing in so-called plant communities such as dunes, grasslands and forests. To follow up on my portrait series TEXTURES, I am interested in what is hidden behind an image, disguise and nature are playing again a major role in this work.
Spending a lot of time by myself and contemplating the genre of portraiture, I decided to work in a camouflage self-portrait process. It came to me like a solution at this time; and developed into a therapeutic conversation between the I and ME of which my ego seeks to achieve my self-reflexive identity. Working in this self-portrait process leads me to engage with plants in the bay, which fascinated and inspired me to be like them, making myself a home. By draping myself into them and becoming invisible at the same time allows me to the state of an absolute comfort zone.
I am delighted, that the group exhibition MATERIAL EFFECTS curated by Yesomi Umolu just opened its doors. It will be on view until April 3rd 2016 at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum / Michigan State University, East Lansing.
Other Artists featured in the exhibition include Bernard Akoi-Jackson, Jelili Atiku, Ibrahim Mahama, Antje Majewski, Issa Samb and Otobong Nkanga.
I only realised in the year 2014 that I have a history of employing methodologies of disguise in my work. The series TEXTURES is unintentionally carrying references of the traditional West-African masquerade, the use of masks is a clear representation of concealment of the whole human body. During my artist residency at Jan van Eyck / Maastricht(NL) in 2014 I started to carve body masks in my own style. Looking at ways of bearing the mask; a double directional metaphor of my thorough transformation is taking place: indulging the supernatural forces, which I wish to amplify and at the same time allow myself to be transformed by them.
I have three masks on view beside video works.