Ouvrons les yeux !


The Sierra Leonean artist mainly start out painting in acrylics and oils, and is also interested in sculpture, installation art and digital production as a means of social commentary.

Her work generally explores the concept of identity: how, as African women, we represent and narrate our history, our culture and our place in the world.

It also questions the way in which African women are traditionally represented in art.


Aberdeen Bridge I 2000

An African woman’s hair always tells a story. It contains our DNA and so it identifies us and tells the history of our forebears. How we choose to style our hair often tells a lot about our character, our status, our circumstances and our beliefs – whether we have an afro, braids, locks, weaves, or perms.

In these pieces, the hair is used as the narrator of the history of my country, Sierra Leone. This country was once referred to as ‘The Athens of West Africa’ as it boasted the first and foremost university in colonial West Africa, producing the majority of West Africa’s educated elite. In the early years of independence our currency, the Leone was stronger than the US Dollar. This small country is rich in numerous minerals, diamonds, has fertile agricultural land, abundant fishing resources, stunning beaches and the finest natural harbour on the West African coast.

The hair in both images shows a particular location, the Aberdeen Bridge, as seen from the verandah of my home.

The first image was taken in the early 2000s. The land and the water are clean, free of debris, the colors of nature speak of tranquility, serenity and order. Young trees and shrubs are growing and the surrounding body of water was also a haven for birds and other wildlife.

The second image was taken in 2024. The once tranquil coastline has been devoured by makeshift zinc structures crammed together where the poor seek shelter. The water is filled with trash and excrement. The air is filled with the smell of toxic smoke and the tense sounds of arguments, frustration and anger, the constant din of pigs wailing, chickens crowing, pots and pans clanging and children crying. This is manmade poverty at its finest. On the other side of the water, large expensive apartment buildings and a water taxi terminal have risen up. The reddish color represents the rust, danger, decay and negative emotional energy.

Our country, although stillrich enough in resources to give every man, woman and child a comfortable and decent life is suffering and degenerating; its people ranked among the poorest in the world. The dollar is now at approximately 25,000 to the Leone which continues its downward descent. Alarm bells are ringing.

Who is responsible? Where is our leadership? What has become of our State? Is it inherently corrupt or is it being corrupted by outside forces and interests? Is there hope for the future? It is truly every man for himself….


Aberdeen Bridge II 2024



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