Being an artist, a prolonged period of inactivity revitalizes me. The mental and psychical makeups are able to be re-governed and reconstituted; one may be restored biologically, forgetting a pain after a while. Opportunities arise to read treasured books, travel to inspiring places, discover a new muse. Some interesting processes start occurring, new ideas and memories surface from the core of the mind, an unconscious collective knowledge. One escapes into unguarded reveries, gaps in recent projects are revealed with their corrections and alternative outcomes, future projects fly to the fore, some in complete forms, with methodologies and contacts, some partially stay in the shadows. The overall advantage of this phase is a grand possibility of entering into a reset mode, like you go back to your innate, most original self, it is not a realm of effort; it is a level where thinking or doing destroys the quintessence of the experience, to maximize the gains, you must surrender. When it over, what you remember is yours, you may then record. Recently, I saw from a deeply forgotten part of me a silhouette of Mr Obidele, my best teacher.
He has stayed all week; I see his aged form. By the law of averages he should be dead. I want to give this vision materiality. My most potent tool is my camera and my best skill is capturing moments, but making a photograph requires time to exist and the availability of a subject, so my skill will be grossly inadequate and my method must fail. The old mystics teach about the illusion of time, the impossible split of the present, past and future. Einstein also talked about this illusion and Edgar Cayce on the malleability of the future and wholeness of time. This awareness is not functional for me, time travel I may be interested in later, for now I will like to enjoy the ordinariness of physicality, well maybe not totally.
I need him on a two or three dimensional surface, my only possible outlets then must be a representative painting, drawing, carving, or sculpture. Something I can hold. With any of these mediums, I must be able to pull him from memory and imagination, create this silhouette and as an extra, create him as I remember him, tall, always smiling, bespectacled, peaceful, white hair, charismatic aura. I must do this organically, join my hands with a hired hand and transmit the vision.
He is the only teacher that has ever influenced me, he taught me throughout primary four. He was changed in primary five and I became very stubborn and troublesome, the third term he came back; I was renewed, even went on to become the head boy. I can’t adequately contextualize what he did for me, but my best attempt will be to say he gave me the space and confidence to become my own kind of individual. I have gone through life meeting several teachers but none has ever stuck, none is deeply entrenched in my memory.