A person's destiny is a state of finding yourself through your passion
2007 - The die is cast. Ten years ago, If you were to ask me what were my short and long-term goals, working full-time as doll artist would not have been on my list, yet in retrospect the course of events now seem like riding on the tailspin of a fast moving jet.
Would it be that the ancestors needed a medium to express their viable connection to this world and I was an open vessel? Would it be that in researching and embracing African Traditional Spirituality that I would connect to something much larger than me? Would it be that I could perceive that the larger world community needed to understand and appreciate the beauty of the mask?
2014 - embracing the mask: I had been making "dolls" honoring the Orisa pantheon of the Yoruba Tradition for seven (7) years and was fascinated by the stories, mythology, and spiritual traditions. I was fondly called Iya (Mother) Dollmaker. It was through on-going study that the Masquerade called Egungun "Heavenly Dwellers" "Secrets Masked" became my next focus and passion.
Fast forward to 2016, My masquerade work was recognized by cultural anthropologist Dr. Ade Offunniyi in Charleston, South Carolina and my first showing was born as part of a larger exhibit called "Sixteen Crowns: Manifestations of Ase" It was the most rewarding affirmation of my creative work and I quickly saw that more is needed to educate the general public and seek out venues to exhibit the work.
2017 has been a whirlwind conducting more research, creating more masquerades and also expanding the current exhibit to include a full-size costume and wall art.
In creating Spirit of the Masquerade, I position myself in the mind's eye and spirit of the artisan to create in my interpretation, the essence of the mask. There are times that I create with a specific culture and mask form based upon my research; but, often I work from inspiration and then seek to find the origin of the mask which asked to be born. So, the adventure has begun and will continue.
With no guidebook or patterns to follow, I often find the simplistic visual appearance of the mask, has very complex design elements, so the creative process also entails what is the best way to construct these masquerades.
Working with natural fibers and materials has been a challenge as well as making substitutions which maintain the integrity of the original mask researched subject, for example, using faux fur or choosing to use actual animal hide.