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For Mama Adama Hymns & Parables

For Mama Adama: Hymns and Parables is a spiritual conversation between myself and my

grandma Adama.  At times, I am her, as she continues to see through my eyes, the daughter of

her first son. As the only child in my immediate family born in the United States, cost, distance,

and a horrific civil war only allowed me to meet with my grandmother twice in my life, once at

age 4 and then again at 20. Although our physical bodies have only shared space on this earth

for 23 years, our spirits have always been intertwined. As a child I was obsessed with

photographs of her, I am Mama Adama’s namesake. I was also intrigued by the beautiful hand-dyed

 and batik Garra fabrics that she made. Whether it was a window curtain, a tablecloth,

pillow covers, clothing, or yards of fabric, my home was always filled with these gifts of textiles

uniquely designed by Mama Adama’s hands. My grandmother’s Garra business was prominent

in Pujehun, Sierra Leone from the 50s up until the harsh civil war in the early 90s.

With this series, I’ve incorporated her fabrics to make large film negatives and positives in order

to use a variety of photographic processes to create new designs and patterns based on her

originals. Inspired by the layered nature of the Garra fabrics, the series includes photo lumens,

cyanotypes, and screen printing, mixed media on Guinea Brocade textiles and cotton paper.

This series also includes natural and found items from Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria,

and the American South.


So much of this work is about creating new patterns and languages while activating my

body and ancestral memory. My process includes allowing my body to move intuitively as it

performs and makes gestures through these camera-less photographic processes. In the midst

of creating this work, I think about the complex nature of identity, as well as the multi-layered

connections between Africa and its Diaspora.

Materials Used: Paper made from Indigenous Kala Cotton from India, Banana Paper from Brazil, Guinea Brocade, Raffia, Cowrie Shells from Sierra Leone, Spanish Moss from Savannah, Cotton from South Carolina, Healing Herbs from Ghana, Copper, Artist Hair, synthetic hair, 

Ortega Y Gasset Projects
ELEMENTAL: Adama Delphine Fawundu and Hong Hong
May 8 - June 18, 2022 
Goodman Gallery
A Different Now Is Close Enough to Exhale on You
24 Nov. 2022 - 21 Jan. 2023

Goodman Gallery presents A Different Now is Close Enough to Exhale on You, a group exhibition in three parts, guest-curated by Yaounde-born, Berlin-based curator and writer Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung. The exhibition takes place across our Johannesburg and Cape Town galleries alongside a satellite exhibition at Umhlabathi Collective in Johannesburg.

Featured artists at Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg: Leo Asemota, Karimah Ashadu, Rehema Chachage, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Eric Gyamfi, Sabelo Mlangeni, Farkhondeh Shahroudi, Dior Thiam, Rubem Valentim, Sunette L. Viljoen.

The exhibition’s conceptual framework extends from musings over the lyrical content of Cameroonian singer-songwriter and political activist Lapiro de Mbanga’s anthem No Make Erreur (1986). At the heart of the show is an exploration of the systems and relationships that comprise the history of power, extraction and exploitation. It also highlights the histories of resilience, defiance and communion that exist despite dehumanising forms of subjugation. This is articulated through the works of 20 artists from across multiple geographies:

“I wanted to bring together artists whose works I have deeply admired, especially because their works are framed between the polarities of poeticality and politicality. What they all have in common is an ability to approach some of the most sensitive sociopolitical issues with prudence, profundity, and in solidarity, while still possessing a strong aesthetic bearing. When I was approached to curate this exhibition, I was reading Eloghosa Osunde’s essay ‘& Other Stories,’ from which I borrowed the exhibition’s title, which symbolised something of a trust that in these times of dread, artists and culture at large play an important role in crafting our worlds” - Ndikung.

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