MEET ARMINA MUSSA
Join us for a dialogue with with Sculptor, Armina Mussa, as she invites us into her new home in Koreatown, Los Angeles.
Tell us about a notable memory from your upbringing, relating to anything, maybe something that continues to shape the way you think today?
Growing up black and East African - I grew up with the duality of strong cultures and bold traditions. It undeniably shaped me.
You’ve lived in New York, resided in New Orleans and most recently I ran into you at The Prince, blocks from your new place in California. You have created unique events and installations relating to the spaces you have come across, do you feel that the physical space you inhabit influences the nature of your creative work?
Absolutely. It’s really molded how I approach sculpture now. The last couples of exhibitions I did were site specific installations and I found the importance of the space deepens the meaning of the sculpture which furthers develop new concepts for me to engage with during the process. So it’s not just about “space” but about material, reliance and duration.
Your artwork is imbued with deep introspection and explores inherent power structures. Similarly, you’re conceptual book, Unknown, Wyoming, acutely interrogates power and its depositories. What elements of power are you working to illuminate?
Perhaps illuminating the power of staying present - focusing in on the power of living moment to moment.
I’ve noticed that you return to the symbolic form of the spiral in your artistic endeavors, what is the significance of the spiral structure for you?
The bony-like cavities (spiral) represents continuous renewal, the cycle of life and death, and harmony of opposites.
One of your recent installations, Out of One's Skin, examines representations of Black women as both victims and perpetrators of crime. What do you hope your audience extrapolates from this installation?
The impact of generational trauma within our culture and the importance of working against the odds to protect new life .
You recently published a conceptual book titled, ‘Unknown, Wyoming’: A Telling Visual Journey Through Trauma. What personal lessons or concepts have been instrumental in shaping this work?
New things are made only by treating old things. So truly understanding the power within living in my truth outwardly and inwardly despite the challenges. And To stay within my truth through discussion and art.
Currently you are working on a concept gallery work space here in East Hollywood here you showcase work related to art, print, sculpture and other mediums, tell us about some of these creators and what inspires the evolution of this space.
It’s more of an incubator for artist rather than a traditional gallery. The evolution is truly in the energy of the artist we bring into the space. Through the week we concept different projects, have artist drop things off, so by the weekend things are exhibited and sold. It’s a cool cycle of getting ideas out consistently.
Interviewed by Ariel Bleakley