Saturday, 31 January 2009


Termites are an important element of the Mbari building as the earth, which is manipulated by the termite and it secretions, is supposed to be spiritual, as well as being more malleable - here in the field l heard a story about how they had to dig deep into the nest to get the queen termite and it was here that the earth was the most spiritual and easily moulded.

In Kenya it was also believed that the termite mounds were where the ancestors lived. Also one of the artists at the National Museum of Kenya (Peter, who helped me construct my panels for the 'Crossing Boundaries' exhibition) said that termite earth was more pliable because the termites mixed their saliva with the earth.

I am also fascinated by the patterns that termites make in wood and would like to experiment with some in my work. It is also amazing how much destruction they cause structurally which makes me think of the fragile element of some of my work, which often for me symbolises the fragility of life, which l depict as precarious balance, disintegration, holes, cracks, mould, and surface erosion.

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