You traveled to Ghana, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria, and integrated those experiences into the “Temple of Acacia” series, which is dedicated to spiritual practices in West Africa. What did you take away from those experiences?
One of the major motivating factors for me going to West Africa was understanding how to link my Grenadian ancestry, which really has no recollection of Africa, to that land. I ended up taking an African ancestry DNA test. It acknowledged that we have Akan ancestry on my grandmother’s side, we have Ga ancestry on my grandfather’s side. When I went to Africa, I was very interested in learning more about the Akan people (a tribe historically based in Ghana) and the Ga people.
I met with a tour guide named Confidence, and we drove from Accra to Kumasi, a city in the Ashanti region, where I explored some museums and sacred sites. Among the sites visited was Bonwire, one of the last remaining authentic traditional Kente weaving facilities, where I purchased a giant Kente cloth piece that I used in my “Temple of Acacia” solo show at Old Stone House. We drove through borders from Ghana to Togo, Benin, and then Nigeria. There were many highlights along this journey, including a visit to the Grand Fetish Market, the largest voodoo market in the world, as well as visits to “slave castles” and UNESCO heritage sites.