See Works Here

Agusto's practice is underpinned by a complex network of ideas which she displays in the mind map, Realm of Interest 1.3, below.

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Agusto recalls allowing her subconscious to lead the way in the making of one of her earlier works and letting those choices trickle down into later works.

"I try to balance research, critical thinking and intuition. Sometimes, I allow myself to make an artistic choice without knowing why (yet). I remember making Introspection Within The Mental Landscape (2018). It was one of those pieces I didn't plan; I was just compelled to make it. After a few hours, I was left with this assemblage depicting a younger version of myself reaching for something within what felt like a rainforest. I knew I did not completely understand it but I also knew I felt strangely connected to it.

I travelled to Benin City two years later for my maternal grandmother's funeral. Watching the city pass by while seated in the backseat of the car, I saw this one tree and a sixteen-year-old memory suddenly hit me like a brick. It was the same type of tree that was in the front yard of the first home I lived in. I believe it was a large ficus tree that had long, thin branches that stretched down to the reach of my four-year-old self. I remembered constantly going outside to pull on those strings and play with the leaves. That was the scene I had subconsciously captured fourteen years later in Introspection Within The Mental Landscape

The vertical hanging braids in later works are a nod to this tree."
 

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On the role of language in creating the inhabitants of Within.

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"I was in university and we were studying a lot of cultural theory and the words alien and hybrid kept coming up. As a fan of Science Fiction, I began to think of the connotations of these words both culturally and biologically. Alien: someone who is foreign to the land; the stereotypical green humanoid figures in cinema which can basically be understood as a reconfiguration of the human form. Hybrid: a thing made by combining two different elements, which could be cultural experiences or organisms. So in combining these translations, I created the eight hybrid clans that inhabit Within by combining the human form with elements I find integral to my cultural consciousness as a Lagosian.

The tails of the Agama lizards that scampered around my feet in Lagos became the tongues and tails of the Agama clan. 
The palm trees that were inescapable growing up in a tropical region became the tusks of the Arecale clan.
The leafless branches that were a sign of decay or seasonal change formed the crown of the *yet to be named* clan.
The black braids I saw adorn the heads of people around me began to fall from the eyes of the *yet to be named* clan. 
The sign of the Cross I saw at Sunday School in church grew from the heads of the Umbanda clan.
The purplish-green leaves that sit outside the front door of my home became the ears of the *yet to be named* clan.
The tribal marks that rested on some people's cheeks open to reveal the second set of eyes of the Aruaro clan.
The shells of the tortoise in my childhood storybooks adorn the skin of the Ijapa clan.

To me, augmenting my self-portraits with these elements based on greenery to religion begs the question of nature versus nurture in the formation of selfhood."

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