More Eyeworks

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After the work has come to an end - often in a sudden way following long stretches of time of living with it while it comes into existence - nothing can be said. What is going to be said is left to the viewer and it often takes some time until the maker can become a viewer again. The text here is about what comes before, what goes along and what informs the making and the maker. The first chapter contains the reflections around the departure from Europe and the arrival in Africa and how past histories put their marks on the present. In the second chapter this experience is set into a wider context of ways of seeing and thinking formed on dualistic and hierarchical principles and ways of attempting to challenge such principles. The third and the fourth chapter move closer again to the experience of the writer who asks questions about the process of writing and the creative process in general and the possibilities of seeing and thinking beyond prefabricated and prescribed concepts. The fifth chapter is a description of the materials and the procedures used in the two and three dimensional work. In the same way as I make references in the text to writers and their work in the ‘Catalogue’ I make references to the work of some other artists. It is a very small selection based on sympathy and affinity and shown without any further comments; leaving it to the viewer’s eyework to find or not to find sympathies and affinities. Works by other artists are also found within the text. They are chosen because they are complementary to what is written. * * * It remains to remember and to thank all those who have contributed in many ways to make everything possible. Here in Kumasi as I have met one after the other: Atta Kwami, Pamela Clarkson, Katharina Haudenschild, Papa Essel, Kar-Kacha/E.K. Amankwah, Grandfather/K.Z. Adzraku, Betty Acquah, Oko Martey Matey, Hannah Passram, Wisdom Adzraku, Dota/Ossei Agyeman, Laadi Olivia Bawah. And there Marianne and Alfred Niklaus-Schnyder, Brigitte and Ueli Niklaus-Baer, Christine and Daniel Niklaus-Gerber, Alice Arnold, Sarah Ashabi Sawyerr, Peter A, Simpson, Isobel Bowditch, Gogo M’Boji, Myles Agili. * * * Paradoxically all the conversations, the dialogues, the monologues, the laughter’s, the tears, the dreams, the silences shared with all the people remembered above occupy only a small space here - whereas through the days, the nights, the seasons and the years their company occupied more than just a small space on a page.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Art/MFA ,1995.