Awakening is influenced by African ancient graphic symbols, writings, and markings such as, Sabian, Ge'ez, Adinkra, Hieroglyphs and Issa alphabet and symbols. It embodies colour, rawness, and power and exposes their deep cultural and historic imagery.
We are still using the African symbols in everyday life; historians and anthropologists find the Egyptian Hieroglyphs fascinating and are always seeking their meanings. They give us a window into history and provide continuous learning about our past. Ethiopian alphabet, Ge'ez came from Sabian and is still used in Ethiopia today. The Issa markings are still used by the nomadic people of Ethiopia to mark their cattle and to show the tribal differences and family line. Adinkra an ancient symbol is still used in Ghana today in textile and furniture design.
As an artist and graphic designer, I believe that it is important to relate to people who came before us and value the impact that their work has had on our artistic practice. As well, it is important that we explore how people in the past communicated visually and how their visual communication impact our artistic emotions as well as our behavior.
The significance of visual communication is of absolute importance to artists, and as a visual artist it intrigues me. In this exhibition I am using the graphic visual component, and not the literal meaning of the writings, markings and symbols from the past.
It is my intention to expose the depth and texture as well as the rawness, creativity and cultural strengths imbibed in these markings, writings and symbols. My work brings out the vivid imagery, and brilliant colours that create a kaleidoscope reminiscent of my native Ethiopian market places. Forever in my mind’s eye is the parade of proud faces I saw as a youth.