Adama Delphine Fawundu (b. 1971) draws upon her Mende heritage and her experience as the first member of her family born in the United States to explore the passage of knowledge, artistic expression, and historical events through generations and throughout the African diaspora. Through multimedia work that employs Sierra Leonian garra fabric and fabric-printing techniques learned from her female elders, Fawundu investigates familial traditions and cultural inheritance. In photographs she embodies the enigmatic figure of Mami Wata, a shape-shifting water deity who travels across cultures and continents and serves as a witness to significant events in Black history. In her video the cleanse, Fawundu transforms hair-washing into a ritual. Accompanied by a soundtrack of harvest chants, trap music, and the words of Black luminaries, she maps a creative lineage from her African roots to contemporary culture. Gathering Together is curated by Beth Gollnick, curatorial associate, with Mitra Abbaspour, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.
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