Mami Wata (2015) takes its name from another water goddess. Meaning “Mammy Water,” she is common to religions from Central, South, and West Africa. Here the goddess is suggested by a globe of salt suspended from a rope over a sheet of glass. The water-like glass and the round, feminine form of the salt are evocative, but also simple and formally graceful.
Hydrospheres (2015) comes explicitly from the realm of science: the term refers to the ecological systems and diffusion of water in the environment, from rivers and seas to clouds and aquifers and the water inside our bodies. Like molecules or atoms, the sculpture is comprised of an assemblage of vinyl records through which float balls of salt. The records cant at various angles, fanning from a central point. This dissociated, scientific vision of water is shown to be just as inherent in Kiwanga’s use of materials as the traditional, anthropological ideas of the other two sculptures. This network of ideas, and of connections between in and outside, myth and science, pervade her work, giving us a new lens through which to see the world and peoples’ knowledge of it.
“Mythopoeia” is on view at Tiwani Contemporary, London, Apr. 10 – May 9, 2015.