Living in Addis Ababa for the past nine years has been a lesson; a lesson in humility, and a lesson in what it means to return to a land that was foreign to me. Over the past nine years, an expression of my grandmother has stuck in my mind – she would say, “The world is 9, it is never complete and it’s never perfect.” I thought it was interesting, but it wasn’t until much later as an adult that her voice echoed in my thoughts of whether we can live in this world with full contentment.
In this world, we are idealists seeking perfection but living in a reality which does not afford us that balance. Life is unpredictable and imperfect – we must conquer these challenges with strength and endurance because the world within us and the world knocking on our door, bears the unknown future.
Regardless, through these experiences, I was inspired to create 28 new pieces of work. Each image is an exploration of questions about life, love, and history. I am not seeking answers but asking provocative questions about the life that we live – as people, as nations, as beings. I have chosen to continue working on body painting, which is inspired by traditional body art from across Africa. Each work is a reflection of conscious and sub-conscious manifestations of time and space.