Amarachi and l have found it incredibly difficult to contact each other by email and l have had to resort to sending messages via El Anatsui's email address - a BIG THANK YOU El! We have decided that mobile phones are the only reliable means of communication again - will have to find a cheaper way of doing this!
We are at present moving on with ideas for the artwork which will be shown in Lagos first, at various venues to include the contemporary art space called Terra Kulture, the British Council/Goethe-Institut, National Art Gallery and Lagos Museum - this is being negotiated as we speak. Luckily their email systems seem to work....or at least some of the time..."Power and Darkness" willing!
AMARA: "On my thoughts concerning the work, I am interested in the religious aspects of Mbari. For me, the summary of mbari is that it was constructed so that the ‘particular god’ will be constructive, and not destructive. Its is significant for me that people, in religions, still have similar belief/fear, and act accordingly, although they may probably be dealing with a different kind of contemporary god .The interest for me is that while at it, everyone insists that there is a huge difference between the prevailing religion and the former. It is like moving around in circles- that hybrid thing if you remember…
Another is the notion that Mbari/Ala is offered to beget and give wealth. This is interesting for me, when it is paralleled with the thinking of a typical Nigerian, on issues of livelihood today. I am definitely making sculpture Installations that would require ample space for them to have an interesting presence. I am not making many works" (13.4.09)
KATE: I am evolving ideas around Fact and Fiction taking ideas only from the Mbari religious beliefs but the contemporary culture as l found it in general. The idea of reality and allusion (or illusion) is interesting to me and the 'powers of the invisible', which was reinforced by an incident in the house l was staying in in Lagos - where my glasses case was moving of its own volition which spooked my hosts out no end, until it was discovered that the fan on the ceiling was doing it but only on the full blast setting!!! - likewise one of the High Priests we met was convinced that he saw a python in the interior chamber to the Mbari house we were visiting and visibly shook in fear. Other concepts may be around alchemy which also involves some elements of the 'unknown' which intrigues me. Some of the outcomes may be film. These l want to show through TV screens as they are everywhere and form a major influence on peoples lives and are culturally the most accessible - 'Africa Magic' was very popular! Other outcomes may be three dimensional in sculptural form as installations.