Some recurrent subjects within my work are notions of belonging and the authenticity of identification documents within the context of inter-African migration. Society’s paradigm of expatriates is often from the middle east and Africa, yet the prevailing perspectives and impressions of migratory movement within the world pay little attention to inter-African migratory movement.
I am interested in simple geometric shapes observed in architectural forms in different milieus which form the compositional foundation of the paintings and are further resolved through the use of painterly and mechanical marks. My paintings hold colours that resemble buildings and places expatriates may have occupied (or are familiar with) such as Indian-red; existing on the doors of council estates and pistachio green; existing in some West African passports. The assemblage of found objects, collaging, transfer of text, stamps and shapes from travel documents, develops the context and enables me use different avenues to explore painting without any boundaries employing the work to take on different characters, which mirror the life of an expatriate. The expatriate adapts, loses and learns different culture within the ‘new’ space that is being occupied.
Within my work, I have a dialogue about inter-African migration today, in the early 1950’s (before Ghana’s independence from the British) and post-independence. (Layering) Archival documents or objects (which are starting points for my work), enable me to learn and discuss repetitive waves of movement of a group of people into another land. For example, if we are presented with multiple deportation documents of South-Western Nigerians from Ghana in the late 60s, we are likely to discuss the 1969 Aliens compliance order. This allows me to situate myself in that epoch in order to interrogate the country’s history, past glories, ambitions and failures.