Livingstone Amoako

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Artist Statement

The disappearance of snails in our environment drew my attention to have a critical look at what really is going on in our environment. Considering the nature and the characteristics of snails, I came to the realization that snails are forest dwelling animals, they normally do not dwell on grassland. With their habitable vegetation being depleted as a result of urbanisation, climate change and cosmopolitan lifestyle, it became very clear they are becoming extinct. One can clearly see that it’s not only the snails that are being threatened but some other animals and plant species as well. I therefore became sensitive to this as an artist and took to the collection of empty snail shells as the main materials for my works, alongside with African proverbs. With this, I question our quest for or the human being’s dwelling space without respect for the environment. The desynchronization of life-cycles and the disjoining of species and individuals, resulting in the fragmentation of ecosystems, human as well as non-human.

Global warming and environmental issues have become more important due to various reasons; the ecosystem is deteriorating and rainfall cannot be depended on. The ecosystem has been exploited from the mining of the fertile lands and rivers for precious stones to the logging of the trees which support rainfall for their economic gains. Agrochemicals are also contributing immensely to the deterioration of the ecosystem, almost all the activities of man are not environmentally friendly. The quest to understand our ecosystem has more to do with the way certain individuals treat it.

My practice however, takes a critical look at the environment and the deteriorating ecosystem with the view of advocating for behavioural adjustments towards flora and fauna. It advances arguments through snail shell installations as metaphors for consumption and poor environmental practices. These were done through ritualistic handling of the shells and exhibition strategies that invite audience into the lives of the consumed shells as lives shared. It concludes by advocating for proper handling of the environment to sustain life.

Kumasi, Ghana

+233 209 334 749

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