.. / KekeTop / artist of the month / september 05      
  BARTHOSA NKURUMEH  
 
     
 
  ARTIST STATEMENT      
     
 

My current primary medium is bas-relief. My approach to bas-relief is interdisciplinary in ways that integrate Drawing, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Painting. I engrave images into boards with the router and gouges; pull prints and casts from the incised images before painting. On wood, instead of painting, I char with fire from Blow Torch, sand to smoothness and present as sculpture.

My art is a visual diary of life. Observably, human nature is instant to my work; I look beyond the physical entity. In my work, the viewer will notice dialogues between aesthetics and symbolism, and between culture and self. My concern is not to copy nature but to make contemplative statements about life: its complexity, its uncertainty, and the vitality of our collective existence. Narrative nuances and intellectual flexibility are more explicit in my work than corporeal gratification.

Routinely, I return to my experiences of growing up as the last of
thirteen children. The experience of growing up in the midst of the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War of the 1960s is less discernible in my work than the collective Igbo traditional ways of doing. On the surface, my art appears to have changed in the course of traveling, schooling, working, and naturalization in America. Yet, linear rendition of form, narrative approach, and economy of means resulting from the rigorous art training at the University of Nigeria at Nsukka, synonymous with the Uli style, is still evident in my art. In essence, my work falls into four distinctive evolutionary stages. These progressive units are the Pre-Nsukka Years (1970-1982), the Nsukka School Decade (1983- 1992), Home Stories Interval (1992- 1996), and Cyberscapes Era (1997-date). The Moonwatch series, Wretched of the Earth, and Earth Eating are the most prominent bodies of work in the Cyberscape progressive unit. Earth Eating is a part of the exhibition titled The Poor are not Us that will be touring venues in African and elsewhere.

The title, The Poor are not Us is a doxology; by it, I mean to encourage the viewer to reflect on the riches abound in the African environment. Earth Eating the suite looks over to the other side that is beyond the material gains of industrialism. It calls for deliberations on the dilemma of industrialization and the currents of its post-consumerism on our collective existence. Industrialization facilitates efficiency in harnessing raw materials, refinement in mass production to meet market needs, and access to same that make the consumer's life a whole lot easier in diverse ways. We, however, seem to ignore that the currency of the practice on global natural environmental hardly ever conjures naturalistic pictures. This is the central thrust of the series. Thus, the works are not intended to be sensuously naturalistic but severe to shock the viewer to ponder. The physical presence that is conjured may therefore, bear "convulsive beauty" synonymous with what industrialism indifferently leaves beside its target of the consumers. The materials used in creating the series entail a variety of paints, inks, wood stains, glues, ropes, beads, recycled objects, and animal and plant remains. In the Earth Eating mixed media, the artist incorporates wood items acquired from Thrift Stores in North Texas that sell used items, and my children's drawings and "play" dolls made by them because, elsewhere, I wrote that "they are susceptible to the forces of change that go withgrowth."

 

Fortunes of Nwangele

 
     
 
Artist of the Month in September 05 was Barthosa Nkurumeh from Nigeria / USA >>>
 
 
     
  BARTHOSA NKURUMEH
BIO-SKETCH
 
Clothesline Poetry
 
     
  Barthosa Nkurumeh's art deals with his perspectives as one educated in Africa and the West, and now living in the West and how they may explicate the universalism of human experience. Barthosa Nkurumeh received his formal art training, BA in Graphic Design and MFA in Printmaking at the University of Nigeria at Nsukka. For a brief period, he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He trained as an art Educator at the Teachers College-Columbia University in New York City, and University of North Texas at Denton, where he is rounding up work on his doctorate. Since 1987, Nkurumeh has been teaching art. He taught art at the middle school level in Nigerian schools. From 1993-2000, Nkurumeh taught art and served as the university gallery director at Cheyney University and Clarion University in Pennsylvania, and recently taught art education at Middle Tennessee State University at Murfreesboro. Before his college teaching appointment, Nkurumeh served as a museum curator.

Since the 1970's, he has worked in several media including Sculpture, Printmaking, Painting, and Photoshop. The art of Barthosa Nkurumeh has been features in more than seventy art exhibition in several countries. His art and writing have appeared in numerous books including Encyclopedia of Sculpture, Contemporary African Art, St. James Guide to Black Artists, Responding to Art, Exploring Painting, The Visual Experience, New Traditions from Nigeria: Seven Artists from Nigeria. His work has also been featured in periodicals such as Research in African Literature, Matatu: Journal for African Culture and Society, Grain Magazine, The Anthill Annual, Nsukka Journal of Humanities, West Africa, Prisma and the mass media. His works are in public collections in Nigeria, USA, and Egypt and private collection in numerous countries. The artist-teacher has completed some artist-in-residence programs, provided several art workshops and lectures for American schools, and museums.

     
     
 
THE POOR ARE NOT US
Traveling Art Exhibition ANNOUNCEMENT
 
 
     
 

Title: The Poor are not Us
Artist: Barthosa Nkurumeh (Artist-Teacher/MFA, Ph D Art Education)
Theme: The Universalism of Human Experience
Number of Works for Scheduling: 50 Works
Media: Latex (Natural Rubber) and Mixed Media Drawing
Availability: Available for Scheduling from March 2006 Through April 2008
Host's Responsibilities: Negotiable
Support Activities: Short-term residence, Symposium, Artist's talks, Workshops for young audience and schoolteachers, or others to be discussed
Other Considerations: The Selection Process favored works on latex and on paper for low cost shipment.

Barthosa Nkurumeh's art deals with his perspectives as one educated in Africa and the West, and now living in the West and how they may explicate the universalism of human experience. The exhibition, The Poor are not Us consists of proofs in latex from his bas-relief bodies of work and recent mixed-media drawings on paper. The title is a doxology; by it, the artist means to encourage the viewer to reflect on the riches abound in the African environment. Earth Eating is the title of the mixed media drawings on paper. The series look over to the other side that is beyond the material gains of industrialism. It calls for deliberations on the dilemma of industrialization and the currents of its post-consumerism on our collective existence. Industrialization facilitates efficiency in harnessing raw materials, refinement in mass production to meet market needs, and access to same that make the consumer's life a whole lot easier in diverse ways. We, however, seem to ignore that the currency of
the practice on global natural environmental hardly ever conjures
naturalistic pictures. This is the central thrust of the series. Thus,
the works are not intended to be sensuously naturalistic but severe to shock the viewer to ponder. The physical presence that is conjured may therefore, bear "convulsive beauty" synonymous with what industrialism indifferently leaves beside its target of the consumers. The materials used in creating the series entail a variety of paints, inks, wood stains, glues, ropes, beads, recycled objects, and animal and plant remains. In both the latex proofs and the drawings, the artist incorporates his children's drawings and "play" dolls made by them because according to him: "they are susceptible to the forces of change that go with growth."

 
 
     
    Earth Eating  
     
  Barthosa Nkurumeh homesite >>>   >>>  
     
  Jump to the previous African Artists Gallery >>>   >>>  
     
  Until I am through with renewing this Art Gallery (June 07) You can visit previous Gallery Myllypuro >>>   >>>  
     
  Do not hesitate to contact KekeTop when You like to set your show to the Gallery KekeTop.
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