Eyuphuro is the first and most sustainable installation I have done. Named after a Mozambique (Macua language) word meaning whirlwind, Eyuphuro is a sound installation with an eclectic collection of music. The first piece of music is a Nubian song called "The Waterwheel" performed Hamza El Din, a renowned oud musician. It is a story of a boy who wakes up every morning to pump water with the waterwheel by riding a burro while singing this song. He is charming the sun to rise for another day. This song is pivotal to the installation, because it set a spiraling pattern for other songs to follow. It is a pattern of culture migrating from the center expanding outward, like our solar system and our galaxy.
The visuals of Eyuphuro are geometric floor paintings in a house on Project Row Houses campus, which give the viewer a mediatative gaze of a journey from African communities to where we are now.
Some years before this installation, I had been collecting music from many communities around the world. I became part of a group of musicians, musicologist DJs and others who had a passion for music with an authentic sound that was original. We broadcast on KPFT, as Music Beyond Borders.
So my takeaway was for the viewer/listener to see and feel a greater sense of themselves and to link with true routes of rhythms of the world. The designs in the window emanate from ancient mosques and palaces with gardens contemplating the universe.
Bertram E. Samples is an artist born in Houston, Texas. He began studying art at Texas Southern University under the teaching of Dr. John T. Biggers and, in 1978, received a BFA. After TSU, Samples studied with Kermit Oliver, an important period in his core formation as an artist. Subsequently, he went to the University of Houston. After studying with John Alexander and James Surls he received an MFA in 1985. He received a fellowship of independent study at the Alfred Glassell School of Art Core Residency Program, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in 1987-89.
After Mr. Samples finish his formal training he began a career at the Museum of Fine Arts as preparatory until he developed skills working the museum conservation paintings department. He began his conservation tenure with the preparation and conservation of John T. Biggers' retrospective View from the Upper Room. Bert Samples is currently working as Sr. Conservation Technician.
Mr. Samples, while working as an artist, has also worked in the community serving as a members of several Artist Advisory Boards. He also co-founded the U.I.A., Union of Independent Artists, and has served as one of the seven founding members of Project Row Houses.