This exhibition presents new artworks created by Adama Delphine Fawundu with the Museum’s far-reaching Arts of Global Africa collection as a touchstone for her artistic explorations.

Choosing Sierra Leonean modernist Olayinka Miranda Burney-Nicol (1927-1996) as her entry, Fawundu approached the collection as a repository of insightful and interconnected energies rather than African objects. Further drawn to collection examples that embody Yorùbá philosophy, Mende aesthetics, and connections between art, nature, and spirituality, she created “new beings.” For Fawundu, everything is intertwined and alive with “performative power” known as àṣẹ – the vital force the Yorùbá recognize as the source of all existence, including art and artists.

To learn more about àṣẹ (pronounced AH-SHAY) read this essay excerpted from the Museum’s Arts of Global Africa catalogue.

About the Artist

Adama Delphine Fawundu is a photographer and visual artist of Mende, Krim, Bamileke and Bubi descent. Her distinct visual language centered around themes of indigenization, and ancestral memory, enriches and expands the visual art canon. Fawundu co-published the critically acclaimed book MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. Learn more about the artist.

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Adama Delphine Fawundu, Palii~Seat of the Ancestors and Water Spirits, 2022‑2023 (excerpt). © Adama Delphine Fawundu