"Why do cats talk" Winter 2016/2017
Capturing the essence of the Akan folktales that I heard as a child in Ghana is the aim in my current works. Those tales have taken on novel meanings with each new experience that I encounter as an adult. These encounters have allowed me to understand and appreciate the nuances in those very same stories; which used to seem like tall tales to me as a child.
As a Painter and Illustrator, my works deal with very specific and relatable themes drawn frompainful firsthand life experiences. And how my understanding of those events is filtered through the traditional tales of my homeland. Those themes include: the ideas and emotions surrounding death, dealing with loss, living life, unnamable pain, unresolved fears of the unknown and seeking meaning.
In the Ghanaian folktales, animals are used as the characters of the stories and so I follow in a similar style with my imagery. The subjects in my works are always animals, usually in their natural forms, that are presented in situations or surroundings that are completely unnatural to them. This is done to force the viewer to question the false realities presented in the image and inquire more of the possibilities of the relationship between the creature and it’s prop or environment.
My goal is to encourage my viewers to truly assess their worlds and be more aware of the duality of the daily human experience.
This is an ongoing series of paintings and illustrations of black women, our cultural identities, and redefining our standards of beauty. The series has become my introspective collection that describes my long journey to understanding the importance of my presence and that of every black woman that I have encountered along the way.
The current media of choice are water color and ink on paper; there isn't a specific reason behind that choice.
Medical Series. Spring 2012
ROYAL SERIES. Spring 2011
The theme for the series circles around the Royal system in Ghana, and the pieces focus specifically on the tangible characteristics of Royal figure in parts of Ghana. In these pieces, specifically, i focused on the Kente cloths and gold jewelry. The patterns and designs of a Kente cloth for the Royals are distinguished and exclusively created for them and they alone. This is an exploration of my culture and a recreation and remodeling of what I have always seen as beautiful and regal.
Though the series focuses on the theme of the kente cloth, each piece has a specific meaning and story of its own. The first piece, Obaahemaa, "Queen mother", speaks on the elegance and grace of the tradition Ghanaian culture. She is seated in state and draped in her own special kente to show her power and beauty and dripping in gold demonstrating wealth. The second piece, Palanquin, is a king seated in his royal carrier. This piece focuses mainly on his wealth and majesty. The third piece, Ohene, "king", emphasizes the supreme authority of a king in state. Kings are the most powerful figures in the traditional Ghanaian culture, they influence every aspect of life; his subjects look to him not just a leader but as their protector, and the warrior who is the head in times of battle.
The media I chose is traditional, but the presentation is not; it is oil paint on panels, which are cut to the abstract shapes of the figures wrapped in their traditional clothing.