Nomadic Pop is the foundation and influence; Digital Fusion is the sequence development that satisfies the outcome of the work. Both combined become one. Nomadic Pop is first produced through watercolor drawings that are then developed further in the second stage of Digital Fusion. I use picture-editing applications from my IPhone 5 to digitally manipulate images. I am interested in notions of ownership, the role of technology, consumer authority and what role the individual plays in voicing their own narratives. Nomadic Pop begins to look at “Nomadism”, which can be described as a search for an authentic Somali-ness. This when coupled with Pop Art can be used as a critique of the way we consume information. I am interested in the portrayal of the Somali body. Images of Somali models in the diaspora – sourced from the Internet – are spliced and collaged with artifacts and other images to generate new meanings. This highlights the myriad of manifestations that Somali-ness can occupy as it navigates realities like social status, tradition, modernity and cultural exchange. “Hidiyo Dhagan” > the heritage and culture within Somali Art, plays a fundamental part in identifying connection points. These are folklore, Somali proverbs, traditional music and personal stories passed down orally from one generation to the next. I’m highly inspired by Warhol’s work. Particularly significant to me is his use of vibrant colours for singular effect. My work has a similar notion of using Pop art as a medium to give presence and value to each character of the work, this is an attempt to demarcate space for both imagining and creating new mythology. The fusion element of the work brings the imaginary and the realistic together; it can look displaced and surreal sometimes. However, it creates a unique personality that has its own story to tell. Each piece has a poetic title and narrative reflection within the work, searching for a “common placement” where the multiple worlds are allowed to collide. This is what drives my work.
text edit by Elmi Ali
Scarf Magazine – issue 2014