Sankofa: Anderson Bonner Memorial
City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs
Public Art Program
Anderson Bonner Park.
The Anderson Bonner project continues my exploration of African American culture through a combination of computer graphic technologies and traditional sculptural practice. This is a signature project that speaks directly to the vernacular of its site. An exploration of history, consideration of location and material choices will be used to create a tribute to one of Dallas’ celebrated American heroes.
Sankofa is Both the title of the sculpture and embodies the central conceptual framework that underlies the proposed sculptural tribute to the life and legacy of Anderson Bonner. Sankofa is a word rooted in the Twi language of Ghana. Within the context of Asante culture, it embodies the concept “Go back and fetch it.”
The sculptural representation of this concept is represented in the form of a bird with its head turned backward while its feet face forward carrying a precious egg in its mouth. Sankofa is also an important concept and style that has been adopted by the African diaspora to reflect the importance of retrieving your past so that you are prepared to step into the future.
The Anderson Bonner tribute will employ the form of the Sankofa bird to create a free-standing sculptural form in steel, epoxy, and concrete. The sculpture will abstract the structure of the bird with it’s back turned head holding an egg. Within the body of the bird a circular relief sculpture based on a photo of Anderson Bonner will be contained. The outer ring of the relief sculpture will be embossed with his name and dates. The ring will also have the heart-shaped Sankofa symbol added and the Akan symbol for cooperative economics. The foreground of the relief will be activated with the image of Anderson Bonner while the background of the relief sculpture is subdivided using rectilinear patches that elude to the land tract amassed during his life. The concrete base will be embossed with the name of the statue on one side and go back and fetch it on the other. The sculpture will be powder coated using bright colors that will make it stand out in the parkland context.