The images here are from walks in Millennium park in Abuja, Nigeria a large green space popular with residents from all backgrounds because of its centrality and because of its reputation as one of the few, free, well maintained spaces not gobbled up by private or commercial interests. Overtime as I walked off the park’s main pathways, towards wilder areas on the edges, I began to perceive the park as a sort of conscious benevolent entity that was aware of my presence as I was aware of its aliveness. We would have silent conversations that had less to do with words and more to do with mood and resonance.
I responded to its promptings by picking up the organic and inorganic material it would present to me. A fiery red petal would draw my eye, I would pick up a shiny black seed just to feel its texture. I knew nothing of botany and I barely knew the names of the flowers, seeds and trees around me. As the seasons changed from dry to wet, my senses were engaged in the shifting and we went through processes together.
Soon enough, torn up photos of visitors barely visible left in the grass among branches and fallen leaves began to reveal themselves. The glossy paper provided a bit of protection from the rain, but after a night left to the elements, the images were crumpled, soiled and stained. Slowly I started to collect these fragmented, beautifully damaged and mysterious images gifted to me by the park.
And so, we began to cross pollinate, to co-produce these hybrid children, photo-collage-illustrations.
“A Walk” is a series that explores the relationship between my body and the environment through the act of walking. It is a conceptual and experimental psycho-geographical investigation that maps out and connects my interior musings and the external environment that I traverse. It is a way for me to understand my immediate surroundings by the use of my body moving through space, to create what I loosely define as "documentary".
“A Walk” presents still and moving images and a collection of three dimensional objects from found things I pick up on my path. Found things could be sound, it could be video, it could be torn discarded material, a stick or a leaf.
“A Walk” questions my boundaries, de-centres/fragments my authorship and charts my experience as I attempt to produce narrative from my environment, rather than depending solely on what can be described as fact or research. “A Walk” is an ongoing project that has been located in Lagos, Abuja and Maiduguri, Nigeria.
I began to ideate a "A Walk" as a process for producing visual storytelling after I was awarded a grant by the Open Society Foundation to produce a project that crosses between documentary photography and sculpture to tell a narrative about women's bodies in public space and in the context of the increasing use of female suicide bombers by Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.
The images here are from Walks that took place in Abuja, 2018.
2018 - In progress. Photographs, collages, sound, video, sculpture The project was supported by an Open Society Foundation Moving Walls grant.