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portfolio

selected work for review in support of my application.

15 images and 3 videos.

Please watch all videos in full screen with sound on.

01

to dismantle a house [performance & installation]

Valerie Asiimwe Amani_Photo credit © Anne Tetzlaff_DSC2758_edited.jpg

An installation and public performance that focused on cultural intersections of music, food and language between South London based communities. Using shared beliefs around cleanliness to explore notions of the foreigner, borders and how we share space.

 

Using the domestic space (and the objects found within) as a microcosm to reflect on different experiences of communal spaces and how one can be denied space within the home. Five repetitions of the multi-sensory performance took place across the main gallery space at the South London Gallery and featured sound [both live and recorded], video, scent, text and an installation.

The performance featured artistic interventions from artists Rehema Chachage and Pamina Sebastião. 

It also featured a scent installation that invited audience members to write 

 

The  Performance was a culmination of an Inaugural residency with The Roberts Institute of Art in partnership with South London Gallery. 

2022

Performance. Photos courtesy of  Anne Tetzlaff

Scent interactive installation. South London Gallery

cardamon, cumin,  star anise, vanilla, cloves and cinnamon

02

moving mountains [video installation & sound]

An intervention within the GRASSI Museum (Leipzig) archive, specifically focusing on colonial geographer Hans Meyer and the stone he took on his journey up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Created in collaboration with Rehema Chachage. The Video was installed adjacent to a 15min sound installation created by Chachage and I, that spoke to the history of stolen objects; turning the object into a character and exploring its journey of loss (or being kidnapped) from its original home, ending up displaced in Germany and Austria. The sound featured conversations, field sounds, song and poetry in relation to Tanzania- installed with 8 speakers set up 360 degrees around the space, immersing the listener in the narrative.

I made the video, using photographs from the archive, taken my Meyer, actively reappropriating his work to form a counter narrative. 

The intervention was set in conjunction to a larger collaborative effort with german artist collective PARA that questioned the German attitude towards repatriation. 

The stone is a musing on the current repatriation debates; a symbol for looted objects, but more specifically looted objects which were taken without a trace. The installation was a meditation upon the historical and cultural echoes throughout history that started with objects as small as a stone

2022

Video features excerpts from the 15min sound piece. Original video has no sound in conjunction with the space.

DSC02498.jpg

Sound installation featuring a single red light in a darkened round void space.

Video Installation View: Projected on hand-stitched cloth

03

head of the snake

As part of the inaugural Linenhall Arts Center international residency, I was invited to develop a project in Castlebar on the western coast of Ireland. Over a period of six weeks I developed a set of works based on existing myths in the region - specifically, I was drawn to the Selkie, a mermaid/seal character that was metaphorical for stolen or denied freedom.

I created a series of prints of which two are shown below, as well as a video piece (work in progress) that introduces a character named Msambwa (meaning spirit that rules the living); a snake spirit inspired by the python rituals that are carried out in north-western Tanzania. I was interested in the similarities of symbols and how myths were integral to the environmental respect of the west as well as what the snake symbolised before Christianity - wisdom, health and power. How truth, reality and fiction seem to have unclear boarders of separation when belief inspires action. 

2022

selkie skin .jpg
Mountain Mouth .jpg

Selkie Skin

Archival Print

76 x 46

Mountain Mouth

Archival Print

76 x 46

msambwa still.jpg

still from "In the head of the Snake?" 2022

work in progress

04

power hungry [video]

Food is a central part of trade - especially in informal markets in Dar es salaam. The urban poor rely heavily on small scale farming and sales outside of supermarkets. Food is also a clear identifier of class and privilege; bribery through bags of wheat and corn in small villages being a feature of national political party campaigns.

Power Hungry is a reflection; focusing on the political climate in Tanzania (similar to other Global South nations) specifically focusing on the backlog of cases that involve the disappearance of public funds. The foods chosen are considered 'luxury' or special occasion foods such as chapati, maandazi (doughnuts) and wine - and speak to the social barriers of class that pertain to access of not only food but health, education and housing. 

Set against a backdrop of green (found in the flag) to represent agricultural abundance - food for all is not in abundance, an inequality catalysed by the growth of various multinational farms, forcing traders margins to become even smaller.  Power Hungry centres the glutinous and self-serving high-table that the myth of democracy has become. - a myth we continue to feed.

 

2020

00:01:02

acquired by The Ingram Collection

h.png

05

confluence of parts

A confluence occurs in a river when two or more flowing bodies of water join to form a single channel. The confluence of parts is a meeting of physical and metaphysical past, present and digital spirits; spirits that were abandoned, forgotten and ignored.  

The work revolves around providing mediums and sites for unsettled spirits, I hope to create spaces for forgiveness and healing by acknowledging the ignored and often unaccessible memories our bodies carry through inherited wounds - or those we have experienced ourselves but did not know how to navigate. Using three characters (spirits) as a way to access and work through memories of loss, betrayal, and infertility.

This body of work is an intimate interrogation into the physical and spiritual - it is a ritualistic approach (the ritual being in the art making through use of body) to understanding the things that our subconscious minds hold on to - and how to access and re-navigate this subconscious - through words, sound and imagery that allow for both a digital and spiritual transcendence of self for the femme and/or 'othered' body. The complete works consists of a sculpture and three-part book (below) as well as a 9min video work and a series of 8 prints. 

2021

Memory portal.jpg

Memory Portal

Wood, calico, yarn, felt,  candle

80x80cm

Three Bodies

Archival Print

80x80cm

book view 1.jpg

A confluence

Book

22x22cm (closed)

Produced at Bookworks London

Video still, A confluence, 2021.png

still from "A Confluence of Parts" 2021

06

make warmth for yourself [installation]

The piece was inspired by an extention of a Chagga (Tanzania) folk tale of Ruwa, the sun God. On loosing their strength, Ruwa falls fro the heaven tumbling down to earth. The fabric installation (below) is the deconstructed robe they wore, coming apart as they fell. The piece was an installation also consisting of a drawing that mapped out this fall. 

Considering community within the African diaspora - the piece interrogates the different hands that we may encounter - hands that take and hands that hold and support, especially when one is displaced from their usual network of support. 

2022

Fabric, transfer print, wool and sunflower dye

Installation view

fabric transfer and stitch detail

07

umenipeleka wapi? [object]

Islands is a reflection on the mythical, imagined and remembered. Consisting of various small sculptures the pieces are driven by our relationship with fact and fiction. The islands are borderless, anonymous and multifarious in their possibility.

This work is the first set of sculptures I have made - my exhaustion with traumatic narratives associated to my racial history has fuelled an experimental approach to seeking well-being and anonymity through art-making. The ambiguity of what they are, or what they can be for me is the essence of an unimagined future - something that has not been conjured up yet. The elements of wood, fabric and paper form maps or landscapes, unified and in tension. Thread through wood, wood intertwined with fabric; the duality of the soft against the rigid

The pieces in their essence are hopeful but not naive - they welcome contradiction and possibility perhaps challenging our relationship with fact and fiction. How does a future look without borders or bodies in it? 

umenipeleka wapi - unframed  copy.jpg

Umenipeleka wapi? // Where have you taken me? , 2022

Wood, acrylic, wire, thread, fabric, paper, ink, metal

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