I was 16 years old and we were in drawing class. Suddenly a sound like that of fireworks began ringing on the outside of our school. We thought there was a celebration going on outside and excitement and wonder began to fill us. Our euphoria changed into fear as the sounds intensified and we, the students, began to realize that it was the sound of explosions and bullets! It was the beginning of war in my city. Not knowing if any aid would be available, we decided to take matters into our own hands. Quickly we conferred and decided we could best protect ourselves if we stayed together as a group. Despite our best efforts, many children died that day. Umoja, means unity in Swahili. Inspired by African masks worn during ceremonies, I wanted to celebrate the spirits of the vibrant and colorful students whose lives were both lost and saved that day. My artwork uses several figures which represent a meeting of beings coming together because that day we were one and unified as we escaped.
Oil lanterns, Metals, Rim, Beads, Acrylics, Oil paints, and found Objects.
39 x 62 x 11 Inches.