Alpha III is a portrait of my mother assuming the role of Farma Tami, the founder of the Temne tribe (from Sierra Leone) in the 16th century, of which my family are descendants of. Previous works from the series, Alpha and Alpha II, look to disrupt narratives pertaining to archaic gender roles associated with the motif of the ‘alpha’ within archetypal West African familial structures. ballpoint pen on paper, with coloured felt pens depicting textile like designs influenced from Sierra Leone in the background.
Alpha III depicts my family’s matriarch in a stance of strength whilst wearing the traditional warrior attire that would have been worn by Farma Tami nearly 500 years ago. This work bridges the gap between the ‘Alpha series’ and a new series that I plan on working on called ‘The Matriarchs’. This work will place emphasis on the perspective that the matriarch is the “head of the household”, contrary to outdated but still adhered to gender roles within Sierra Leonean culture. The matriarch is the real ‘Alpha’.