the Artist - Denny Nkemontoh
When I was very young I wanted to be a “belly dancer”.
(My mother insists I meant “ballet”.) As I grew older,
I wanted to be a teacher and a journalist. I wanted to travel
to and live in foreign countries. Art was never on my list.
I studied English and Journalism, Folklore and Theology. I taught
overseas in Cameroon, West Africa, in South Central L.A., and
in the greater Portland area. I supported myself as a journalist
and writer. I traveled to Great Britain, Europe, Ukraine, Cameroon,
Hong Kong, and China. While I never became a dancer, if I were
to dance, it would definitely be belly dancing instead of ballet.
As much as I have enjoyed the adventure of my life, art became
something that I have gravitated towards, as a woman in the desert
yearns for water to revive her. In the midst of every day life,
art has been therapy to me. It has brought me great joy.
Trial and error have been my art teachers. I’ve dabbled
in many mediums before finding the two that bring me the greatest
satisfaction: mosaic and photography.
In making mosaic images, I get to play with colors and textures.
I love to mix mediums – glass, ceramic, rocks, smalti, stained
glass and found objects. I can start with a blank slate and let
the art develop itself, piece by piece, or I can plan ahead. I’ve
begun to see the world in terms of mosaics. I look at beautiful
dishes and wish I could break them! I visualize concepts and stories
as mosaics. It has become an obsession that has transformed the
way I experience life.
My other love
is photography. There is something about viewing things through
the lens of a camera that catches things not seen by the naked
eye. Things there but hidden: the little bugs on a flower, the
statement made by a field of wheat, the wistful look in a young
I hope you will enjoy my gallery of mosaic and photographic images.