I’ve spent time reading my notes, seeing where my thoughts began and tracing their connection in my pieces. On one page in particular, I wrote about my reaction to returning to Guinea for the first time in 10 years. The notes reflected a deep sensibility of both alienation and comfort. A small example would be language—from the way the words naturally spurred from my tongue to the way it was perceived, corrected, or even applauded—there was a comforting tension emerging from identifying with Guinea, even after being away for so long.
Now in this moment, the lessons learned and feelings felt in Guinea are beginning to repeat themselves. The discomfort existing so closely with comfort, my relationship to language, and a chaos not necessarily environmental, is uprising in my artistic practice and life. A year out from undergrad, where I had the structure of a studio, endless material resources, and a group of students and professors I can lean on, it has taken me time to relearn how to create with limitations. Living at home, commuting to a studio space after work, has in its own ways made creating at times uncomfortable and all over the place — especially without critiques or deadlines to ground me. In this awkwardness, I have sourced different materials and adapted new processes that fit my new means and my time. The chaos exists in the transition, learning to let go of processes and adopting new ones, using new materials, and rethinking spaces and resources. I’m relearning how to listen and exist with the order that ensues from disorder.
These past two months have retaught me how to think about productivity and to create within my means. How do you make the time and find the space? What is productivity after sitting in front of a desk for 8 hours? What is creative productivity? For it has now become a slow-moving process of trying new things — shifting the way I have previously worked. Part of this is including play as an exercise: centralizing a series of collages on a selection of images — playing with composition, points of view, color, and as usual layering and scale. The images below explore that further. They will be on nenediallo.com when they’re complete.