My identity was born through clay thus playing in the mud as a child was the genesis of my love for clay. My art practice is influenced by my cultural experiences and sometimes my love for nature. My interest is understanding the role of culture and nature and how it has shaped our identity. Culture and clay represent the accumulation of knowledge about the past affecting the present. Clay (geology) has always been a great resource for providing evidence of the way of life in the past for the present. Similarly, I want my works to reflect my cultural experiences translated through natural materials(clay) immortalized in the present.
The present has been a major catalyst to activate and embrace my identity as an African from Ghana living in the USA. Growing up resenting my cultural norms, practices and feeling mediocre about my identity based on western influences thus my dislike for the marketplace and its daily practices including strenuous labor. My physical presence in the western world only magnifies my feeling of loss, realising I do not know much about the culture I was heavily clutching to. Now, all I have is to love and appreciate my past experiences from Ghana.
I resented the market and mentally refused to identify with the class of people in the marketplace even though my mum had a shop there and depended on the daily sales to pay for bills. I watched the noisy, chaotic scenes of the marketplace filled with countless people using their heads, shoulders, hands and sometimes backs as pedestals and pellets to hold goods they sell faded away at night and reappear in the day. I was always counted the days of having a fancy life highly driven by western lifestyle. I counted for years and that never came. I was stuck with performing these daily methodical rituals of stacking, restocking, and carrying loads on my head for hours. Almost everything in the market is literally in a precarious position and adjusted every few minutes to balance. Sometimes, I believe the precariousness is what draws the attention of customers. The marketplace unconsciously developed my relationship of the physical and material world. I could only communicate effectively as an artist through the evidence of physical material. This became my only approach to work and birthed my undying love for clay. The evidence of labor.