At last I am happy to announce that my new project is in progress and my blog will get active again, thank goodness. Don't get me wrong, I have been working oo, I just haven’t connected enough to the things I have been doing not because I didn't believe in them but rather I lacked understanding but I knew what I was doing I just didn’t have the words or probably not bold enough to share.
My new project... wait should I call it new???
I haven’t moved away from what I have been doing but the work has definitely evolved and so has my thinking these days. So it isn’t exactly new but I would say it started last year, thinking through it, experimenting;which I love to do, playing with materials and possibilities.
I hope I can show the work this year, planning a show in Lagos is so expensive, sponsorship is hard to find but I have postponed it long enough and I will show it by hook or by crook, my last resort... : I show it here on this blog, I’m tired of waiting for all conditions to be right, this Nigeria, nothing is ever perfect!
Anyway since last year I have been making voice recordings about what I have been thinking about and what I want from the project. I started this way because first of all it’s about my grandmother who’s identity is unknown and I had nothing to work from and in order to start, words were all I had. I didn’t start making actual work till this year maybe like in March or so, before then I was experimenting or should I saying playing with objects and reading but its those ideas I am using now.
So one by one I will post these ramblings which I have typed out. I do not like the sound of my voice hence I will not post the actual recording. And besides I was making zero sense most of the time and I repeated a lot of things which is fine. No art starts out perfect, you learn to find yourself gradually, hence consistency is key. I know a lot of people don’t understand what I do, or why I do what I do, you’re not alone. I’m learning but my work has never come from thin air that I can promise you, there is always an anchor to connect with, which is why I am really excited about this project as it does bring to light more understanding of my past work and maybe future works.
I won’t be posting any images at all till exhibition time. I’ll tell you why.
I want you to feel what I experienced in making this work (frustration mostly), having words and no physical objects to back up any claims to the stories I was told. This was my struggle, how do I take words and turn them to art, physical tangible art.
Please try and follow my ramblings, at the beginning I wasn’t making sense but as it progresses, you would see and understand better (I hope) what my work is about, you will see what I am reading and understand how I am choosing to shape my mind. Yes its a choice!!
May I also add that my stay in Dakar during the biennale and the Asiko programme ( I will post something on that soon ) really influenced my thought process, they helped give volume to the thoughts I had already. Like I said earlier, I know what I am doing but I just didn’t have that cushion to bounce off my thoughts. How does one reference, who or what is a “valid” reference were major issues I had.
I have been able to find people through books that are thinking on the same ideas I have, and not just anyone, but people from the same cultural background. No offense to western artists but as a Nigerian artist living on the continent of Africa, it would only make sense to lean towards the cultural ideals of my location and identity. This is what encourages me that I am making sense hence that built my confidence in forging ahead with the work.
Like Olu Oguibe said in his book The Culture Game, and I quote:
“To perpertualy counter a center is to recognize it. In other words discourse- our discourse- should begin to move in the direction if dismissing, at least in discursive terms... ”
The centre I use in this work is mostly based on my family’s stories, and I am confident that is enough to build on.
Enough said and probably enough questions created as well. First post starts tomorrow and continues weekly till I show the work ( so help me God).
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NOTE: my words and thoughts are not set in stone but are daily being shaped by events or new discoveries.