Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Artist's Statement 2

In 2002, I created an installation piece (with mirrors), which I called ‘Heaven and Earth’. It was a piece that questions the place of humans and the essence of existence. It references the relationship between one and another. Using the idea and notion of reflection and sacredness of the invisible as a parameter, it references the depth and status of the visible-the humans and their environment. The ‘visible’ earth is a reflection of the ‘invisible’ and ‘sacred’ Heaven, with no life as a single isolated entity without some sort of attachment to another. If therefore life is that sacred and has thread of supports, why then should there be these differences/barriers among human- races, religion, gender and so on, and between the humans and their own environment. It becomes obvious here that there is something spiritual and sacred about humans and their environment.

Having realized this, I began to feel the solitude of my existence and I needed answers to such questions as:
- Who am i?
- Who is the ‘Other’?
- Where is the meeting point?
- Am I self-sustainable without the ‘Other’ and the meeting point?
Then, in the emptiness of my own world, I sort to find the ‘Other’ but to no avail. 

I think it is more disturbing here especially when I see that I am not saying anything new! It is not new to say that we are one people irrespective of race, culture or gender. It is not new also to say that we are not separate from this great realm of nature, the Earth around us. The later reminds me of Ralph Metzner’s words in his essay- The Psychopathology of the Human-Nature Relationship, in Ecopsychology by Roszak, et al; 1995: “It is not that our knowledge and understanding of the Earth’s complex and delicate web of interdependence is vaguely and inchoately lodged in some forgotten basement of our psyche. We have the knowledge of our impact on the environment, we can perceive the pollution and degradation of the land, the waters, the air-but we do not attend to it, we do not connect that knowledge with other aspects of our total experience”.
“…And it is a distorted, counter-factual image: we human beings are not, in fact, separate from or superior to nature, nor do we have the right to dominate and exploit nature beyond what is necessary for our immediate needs. We are part of nature; we are in the Earth, not on it”.

Having perceived this interconnectedness and interdependence of humans and nature, and having felt the damage, the separateness, and barriers we have created selfishly and egoistically, I thought it pertinent to find ways through which we could ameliorate or proffer some solutions to some of these. But how do we start? How do we understand ourselves? I thought of a common language in nature. That brought me to the language of WATER! Water is a precious natural medium/resource with universal language. It occupies the largest part of the earth, but has been disrespected, polluted, and contaminated with the advent of industrialization. It has been forced to lose its spirituality and purity.

Firstly, where is the connection between humans and water? We are very much aware that the human body is 70 percent water. While as fetus in the womb, we started life being 99 percent water. In fact, it is true to say that we exist mostly as water throughout our lives. This applies to every human being-black or white, all over the world. We are also aware that for water to remain pure, it does not have to be stagnant. When water becomes trapped it loses its spirituality and dies. As Emoto puts it in The Hidden Messages in Water: “ …moving, changing, flowing, this is what life is all about”, “… If we consider that before we became human beings, we existed as water, we get closer to finding the answer to basic question of what a human being is. If we have a clear understanding of water, we will better understand the human body, and even unlock the mystery of why we were born and exist as we do” (Emoto:2001)
I have created some works in reflection of these, especially, the peices-CONFLUENCE and NATURAL CONNECTIONS. 

Before now, a lot of materials, ideas/ concepts, and processes have been explored for artistic statements, yet I see a wide blank to be filled and that spurred my quest for new means of expression, and informs my current interest in exploring water.

Unlike other tangible media, water posses a universal challenge to its user in terms of processes of representing and conceptualizing its ideas and concepts.
I am interested in exploring water in ways that can examine global, human and environmental issues.
I already worked on what I call “Water as a medium, idea and process for my MFA studies. The more work I do with water, the more I discover new ideas and processes which can provide clues that would address critical human and environmental issues.
I am also confronted by problems posed by what water has done to/with man, and vise versa.
Considering the ideas, concepts and processes i explore in my work, TRANSFORMATION plays a major role in the articulation of these. Wholesome, deterioration, life and death can not be over emphasized. Every day life is a process, and that informs my attitude to the handling of some of these ideas. The life itself is so dynamic and that is not only
in our behaviors but also in our physical bodies which include our
surroundings. In these sense, my idea can metamorphose and continue with
it's other side of existence as it is affected by or affects our attitudes”.

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