Madonna holding child
Acrylic, terracotta, shellac on canvas; 47’’ x 24” (119 x 61 cm); 2022
In my paintings, I seek to abstract the human form, with the images being derived from colonial archives. With abstracting these archived brown bodies, I recontextualise the white gaze towards its 'primitive' subjects.
In 'Madonna Holding Child', I reconcile the popular divinal European subject with the people of my homeland. The paint is painstakingly applied in ten or more layers and then going over with a chisel, I excavate into the painting, forming wounds on the body.
An experiment into the materialization of collective trauma, the grief of existence and death experienced through wounds of bygone violences on the body- as lived through ancestral genocides
The Wretched of the Earth
Hand-dyed and hand-stitched leather; 72’’ x 50’’ (183 x 127 cm); 2022
Paying homage to the unspoken deaths of those who were consumed by the dirt, their bodies depart into, and become one with the earth.
Looking at colonial archives of famine and dry earth, the work is inspired by tales of colonial hunger, with the fragments of leather meaning to represent the cracked earth of famine- divided & ridged. The form itself hangs like a shroud. These leather fragments denote the hide, the color of earth while the stitches bind them like sutures on flesh.
The Suffered Wounds of the Brown Skin
Burlap, canvas, wax; 45'' x 52'' (114 x 132 cm); 2021
Using process as metaphor, I looked at the politics of tearing something apart only to stitch it together. The activities of destruction only to subsequently resuscitate, thus altering the integrity of the outcome— a metaphor itself for the decolonial process. Burlap (an identifier of brown community), is suffered in a self-deprecated and humiliated action of destruction, forming acute scars on its form, only to then be weakly stitched back together in a feeble effort; still decaying, still falling apart.
Inherited Memories- I
Wax on burial shroud; 66'' x 30'' (167 x 76 cm); 2021
Collective memories passed down generationally dissipate a little each time,
dissolve a little each time,
till one is left with faint narrations and hazy recollections.
These violent memories against the brown skin now feebly fragment, dissolve, evade.
Do I mourn the loss of these memories or ease myself in the comfort of forgetting and amnesia?
The installation is a temporal, free-floating form; fragmented, gashed and has endured desperate violence at the artist’s hands, yet grieves feebly.
Inherited Memories- II
Wax and dye on burlap; 75'' x 35'' (190 x 89 cm); 2022