As a young Ghanaian artist, I was exposed to the harsh realities of my society due to my experience and upbringing within squatter housing. My childhood encounter was witnessing my mother being abused and cast out from our home and even witnessing the death of other women in my society due to domestic abuse. In my home country, I realized how jewelry is used by kings to visually assert their dominance and power over their citizens. This perceived power influenced me to feel protected under their paramount rulership. As a result, I became fascinated with creating adornments that evoke protection, remain elegant, and convey a sense of power to both wearers and viewers. I draw from this interest and my past in the creation of sculptural jewelry designs that borrow from both African traditional and contemporary aesthetic languages while entertaining cross-cultural influences of my lived experience.
These works evoke specific sentiments that deliver associated ideas of family, labor, self-preservation, privacy and borders. I appropriate motifs and design attributes of vulnerable living organisms, their defensive mechanisms, and other attributes essential to their survival within their environment. As an artist, I draw from the concept of natural synthesis, a concept developed by members of the Zaria Art Society. Within this framework, the adoption of natural, traditional and Western materials is utilized to create body adornments referencing protection for vulnerable groups while highlighting my cultural heritage.
With the intent of creating a viewer experience of force and grace, the exhibition is designed to offer deep thoughts of self-reflection and self-assessment as viewers navigate through. My goal is to create a space where viewers become active participants in the installation through a deep deliberation of our daily need for protection and defense in our societies, neighborhood or even Institutional practices. Ultimately, my current body of work is a meditation on our shared struggle for survival, evolution and the pursuit of a better world.
Studio song: Jazz