This body of work came out of the simple desire to "just paint" without having to think too much. I wanted a theme that would facilitate visual freestyle sessions without producing too much randomness or being purely abstract. The theme is taken from a method of divining in the spiritual practices of Ifa tradition in which the diviner throws 16 cowrie shells and reads the positions in which they land. I don't claim to be a diviner, but I was inspired by the idea of "throwing" 16 cowrie shells onto each canvas and deriving meaning from the resulting patterns. At first the result was just 16 abstracted shells and eventually, as the series progressed, I allowed words and other images to come in and out of the picture plane as they came to me. I considered whatever came to me in the form of inspiration to be the voice of the divine. Once each piece had 16 shells the painting was done. The bulk of the paintings in this series were done between 2006 and 2009 although they still emerge from time to time.
eesuu orundide 16 cowries / a love supreme
eesuu orundide 16 cowries / fuck tha police
eesuu orundide 16 cowries / seeds
eesuu orundide 16 cowries / sex
eesuu orundide 16 cowries / who's right