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Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze
11/13/17 One Day Before Departure to Hong Kong
It’s perfect timing as everything generally is. I’ve come to accept that my ideal rhythm is a minimal one : a fluid one : a lightly unstructured one. This translates to 1.5 to two activities per day (not including anything health/fitness related and not including drawing in the studio). I’ve been to two other megacities- Mexico City and Lagos. I don’t consider New York a megacity, nor do I consider it the center. I don’t care if you tell it I said so.
Places have their own rhythms, a uniquely crafted frequency that orders time. Some view these spaces as chaotic, but I don’t see it this way. If you can identify the rhythm, and operate from a place of allowance, it will carry and protect you. I have found rest in Lagos. Even peace. I am trusting Hong Kong and I will also embrace. I am particularly gifted at falling in vastness and finding everything I need.
New York is exhausting. My 1.5 to two becomes five. When you can count minutes of solitude per day, something has gone wrong. Am I even awake? I hate people, but I love humans. Connections with humans. The thing in someone’s eye. I read it. I search for it. I gravitate towards it like a magnet. I remain open for others to see. You should know that I am an INFP. Also, at the time of my birth, there were seven planets (including the sun and the moon) in the sixth house of service & health and in the sign of the Scorpion (which is also my zodiac). Seven, yes. Perhaps there are three people on the face of the earth, more Scorpion than I (but it is highly unlikely).
I am observant to a fault. Deeply curious about every single thing including how to be a lady. I am quite free. Freedom is easy and I like it a lot.
I want to write a proposal for my time at Spring. Not for production, but for an exercise in rhythm. I just watched the documentary on Black Mountain College. Beginning today, the eve of my departure, I will borrow its title: Fully Awake. This is my proposal.
On Thursday my computer screen became dim. On Friday it was black. It’s perfect timing as everything generally is. I am a horrid reader; slow and patchy. Too busy making drawings out of the words instead of reading them. I’ve recently added approximately nine books to my studio library. Maybe I will read one paragraph in each? Or all of the page 12s? Or put them under my pillow to absorb them into my dreams?
How far is an art store? I’m not keen to make a drawing, but I am always keen to draw. Also, I am addicted to paper. It is skin. It is silk. It is a secret keeper and my eternal comfort.
And a sewing machine? Might one be available? And a fabric store? Are the prices the real prices? I day dream of sewing a coat. A really ugly, yet fabulous one that is textured and pieced together brightly. I am one of those year-round summer clothes wearers, so coats are the shoes of winter. I am also moderately obsessed with fashion. When I successfully split into multiple beings, one of them will be a designer.
Stretch daily, ruby. As a person with a body, it is the least you can do.
Gaga daily. Move daily. Take your tumeric. What is the shape of an elbow? How does it feel to become seaweed? Lead with your left hip, the rest will follow.
I’m thinking a lot about research. What does it look like? Do we each have an assigned life question that fractures into chapters of inquiry? Can research be collaborative? My favorite people (besides artists) are: architects, some dancers but not ballerinas, choreographers, pseudo writers, furniture designers, violin makers (any instrument really), musicians, women framers, Black barbers, athletes of all kinds and people who cook for other people. Have I missed anyone? Oh, and children (they are a type of people). Why can’t we talk to one another? All I want is to talk, to think, to express bewilderment and fire with people who know different things.
My question in drawing is how to make it hold weight and still be paper. What does a barber have to say about that? And then can we eat delicious food and scribble on the paper table cloth and come up with something brilliant. I’d love to facilitate some conversations. Or just open the space. Supper clubs are fantastic. I’m not sure how…?
Acupuncture. Chinese medicine. Is there anywhere or anyone you could recommend? I am a runner for life but my knees are not being friendly to my desires.
Some other things I may or may not do:
Wear long earrings – a social experiment
Consolidate and organize my research images
Draw largely some plans for dimensional drawings
Write a lot with a pen
Turn 35 – wear something ridiculous
Meet a kindred spirit (although I am technically on a “new friend ban”)
Print houseplants (is a printer available?) and make small drawings with only photo transfers
Drop off my computer at the Apple Store
Feel everything deeply and superficially
Be a little bit sad (which I fancy and consider to be the same thing as happy)
ruby onyinyechi amanze
ruby onyinyechi amanze is a visual artist whose practice is primarily centered around drawing and works on paper. In a non-linear and open narrative, her drawings explore space as a malleable construct, the freedom to play as an of revolution, and cultural hybridity or 'post-colonial non-nationalism' as a mundane norm. Design, architecture, rollerskating and the movement language of Gaga are a few aspects of her current research and artistic practice.
amanze was born in Nigeria in 1982. She immediately relocated to the U.K. where she spent the next thirteen years, prior to moving to the U.S. [Philadelphia, PA]. In 2004, amanze earned her B.F.A., Summa Cum Laude, from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, and her M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan in 2006. In 2012-2013, amanze was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholars Award in Drawing to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
amanze has exhibited her work nationally and internationally including, New York, Johannesburg, Miami, Paris, London and Lagos. She is currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Queens Museum and also an Open Sessions 2015-2017 participant, at the Drawing Center, both in New York.
She currently lives and works between New York and Philadelphia, and though she loves them both, is attached to neither.