When visual artist and educator, Adama Delphine Fawundu, was formulating in her mind-body, her current exhibition at the Penumbra Foundation in New York City, she happened upon a book by Éduoard Glissant. His words touched her and crystallized what she was about to do: create a visual conversation between she and her grandmother, an artisan of African fabrics. Her resulting work, For Mama Adama, is an ode to the connection with her namesake transformed into a new language.
Fawundu, a photographer of over 20 years, is best known for creating works featuring the human form—from her start capturing hip hop culture and music, to her more recent self-portraits and nudes. As an artist-in-residency at Penumbra Workspace, she dived into her grandmother’s fabrics using the photographic process as a way to consider textile-making as a symbolic form of how ancestral knowledge propels our potential. In her series For Mama Adama, she features works with no physical body, but demonstrates the idea that identity is not linear, and ancestral memories can take on new forms through its descendants.
Read the full interview below