Tuesday, 4 August 2009

East African Rock moulds

I have been thinking about the natural environment in Africa, in Kenya to be precise, and how it compared with my first experiences of Abuja, and Lagos and even the more rural areas of Owerri and surrounding area. I still feel that the beauty of the Kenyan landscape surpasses so much l have seen in Nigeria so far.

With this in mind, l decided to make casts of the Kenyan rocks l brought back. I selected these for their originality, colour, texture, shape and most of all the meaning and memory these rocks embody for me. I collected these from the outreaches of different parts of Kenya when l went out walking with the Mountain Club of Kenya. This was a time l very much treasure as it was a great way to see and experience the culture and the landscape first hand, and it was affordable to do. Rocks themselves symbolise an accumulation and consolidation of time and history, which also appeals to me.

My thoughts about Nigeria was that this natural beauty was not valued as much there and the scramble for material wealth and status was all too important, and yet in spite of Nigeria's indigenous wealth with oil and mineral reserves, including gold, people seemed to be impoverished on both levels. Corruption was rife and has lead to a rather volatile society, so it seemed from the outside.

This lead to the idea of casting these rocks making replicas, or fakes, which were then gold leafed showing the contrast between the natural and man-made, but also questioning the value of each type of rock, the gold fake and the authentic natural rocks, the rich and poor.

I want to present them together next to each other in gallery cases, thus giving them status and a presence, in order for the audience to question in their own minds the value and worth of things in their own lives.

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