University of Ibadan, Nigeria 2016-2017
“The Power of Reading”
I arrived at this campus on the 4th of August, 2016 with only a suitcase and the good will to product a fabricated steel sculpture that would contribute to the university's mission for higher learning. The sculpture is called: "The Power of Reading". However the titled came after the piece was completed. I never scrip my projects before building.
After several meetings with the university staff and officials, I was granted the go ahead. I am the first American to attempt to build a large sculpture here and everyone can witness the process. All equipment and supplies would come from Nigeria. Most US Scholars who travel here don't have the opportunity to make a lasting impression as I am able to make by localizing my skills and build a sculpture from the beginning to the final installation.
Most Nigerians speak English, but our cultures are very different. Communication was always a challenge for me. Most African counties have a rich history in hands skills and I was able to use my problem solving technical metals skills and achieve a mutual respect. We became a family.
As the work moved forward, it became evident that
something special was taking place. My images took on more local characteristics.
The piece was not meant to be portraitures but an expression of The
Nigerian Family's passion for self determination. I believe that reading
is the vehicle to their hopes.
It will be difficult for me to leave my new family.