One Step Two Steps 7 Steps, a charm
My practice explores a journey of investigating and feeling through the experience of being Human, the ritual of sleep within dreamscapes, land politics, time, space, existence, African spirituality, femininity, and identity, alongside the visual and oral teachings that have been passed down from the root of my ancestry. As an eagerly curious student about this human experience; the memory of my dreams has been something that has steered the Afro-surrealist visuality of my works for quite some time.
This has helped me shift the lens onto the idea of being present within more than one parallel reality as a means of thinking about the multiplicity of my existence, intersectionality, and my position within everything as I communicate these visions through storytelling in performance, painting, video, sonic art, and, most recently, sculpture.
I believe the act of Being is a performance of its own.
Re Tla Kopana Ko Khoneng (We Will Meet at The Corner), is a body of work that explores the street corner in Johannesburg (Jozi) as a site and marker of exchange within the human and spiritual experience. My weekly routine of commuting with local taxis, Gautrain, or occasional e-hailing services around Jozi’s inner city and outer suburbs, deeply influenced my ways of seeing and analyzing the urban landscape beyond the concrete infrastructure. My observation of these different curved and sharp-edged street corners around the city made me realize the positionality of my African female body within these intensely intimate public spaces. Through my observation of these different street corners, they seem to speak a common descriptive language as a place of gathering (mostly amongst men), surveillance, a meeting point, intersections, trade, commute etc. I’m subconsciously hyper-aware of my surroundings. What am I wearing, how do I look, what does it say about me, how do I carry myself, walk, talk, and behave, Am I Safe? These are just a few of the many inner conversations that have fueled me to question why I’m constantly negotiating my existence and presence in public spaces, spaces I consider my home, and the spaces within me (mind, body, womb, and soul).
I would like to breathe, please?
Oh, won’t you let me breathe!
Sharp razor blades
the perimeter of my unstable body
Making its way through to my oesophagus and blood stream
Oh, wide beams of glass sit flat
right on my blue lungs
It is so hard for me to scream,
I would like to breathe please!
Will this be my last puffs
never to be blown out?
Will my warm, breezy, rhonchi, and wheezing breath sounds fall on deaf ears?
Will they never be a comforting reassurance of my existence and benevolence?
Teach me how to breathe please
I would like to know how
Because the more I fail to breathe out
I may never know how to reach out
once that door is open for me to come in.
Spare me some time,
Let me breathe
I would like to breathe, please.
– Catch My Breath