A solo show by Jean Joseph

An Exhibition by Jean Joseph

We’ve already paid – Journeys and Kinship

Humanscape by Jean Joseph

18 October – 11 November 2011

We’ve already paid – Journeys and Kinship’ was inspired in Ghana. The series of works make up a narrative, featuring mixed media paintings and three-dimensional work. The paintings combine visual components with historical signifiers, creating chronological incongruities; past and present visualisations of a shared transatlantic history of the African Continent and the Diaspora, chiefly, West Africa.
 The architectural features of the West African traditional door symbolises the two faces. Linking at the threshold is the architectural type with a troubling history – the slave trading fortresses on Ghana’s Cape Coast, principally, the world heritage memorial, Elmina. The other component within the works is the agro-economy of sugar cane and its role in the European-controlled African enslavement industry. This is expressed in the three-dimensional work portraying resistance, while reconnection through the transatlantic journeys takes the form of a wall of recognition – an installation of faces, representing products from the Diaspora that suggest the question, “Here we are [Mother]. Do you not recognise us?”
 “As an African born in the Caribbean, my first visit to Ghana and the Continent was a joyful, spiritual and painful experience. I journeyed with my sister and Ghanaian friends. It was an opportunity for cultural and spiritual reconnection. On arrival at the visitors’ reception at both Elmina and Cape Coast Castle, an entrance fee was quoted in Ghanaian Cedis and U S Dollars: The natural response from the Diaspora was: ‘We’ve already paid’. Hence the title of the series.”             Jean Joseph – jean@artmaroon.co.uk

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