Artist Statement: Journeys of the African Spirit

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Artist Statement: Journeys of the African Spirit

by MwazaCarol

I am a creator of things. I am one who asked to be manifested here to bring things into fruition, make them beautiful and tangible. It has taken me many years to recognize this but, once I did, it placed me firmly on my path and life opened up for me. I became someone who does creative work. My art is not just for viewing but for inspiring, uplifting, provoking thought and functionality. It is a fusion of the past, African history and culture, with the present, which represents my-story and life. In my work I see that everything is filled with spirit and I pay homage to that spirit with an attempt to release that energy into my work.

Journeys of the African spirit was born out of the recent struggles that African people in America have been facing, mostly in my home town of St. Louis. From police killings to protest, my people have spent time the past few years traveling in the depths of the struggles for our freedom and humanity. With this exhibit, I wanted to acknowledge that struggle of humanity but show the triumphs and beauty that occurs simultaneously. I hope to inspire and awaken the spirit, to see the struggle and beauty in our journey to be free!

Toni Morrison once said about a book “… although confined by cover and limited to type, it had to have a sound. A special sound made up of all the elements that distinguished black life, as well as those qualities that identified it with all of mankind and it must concentrate on life as lived (not as imagined) by the people: the anonymous men and women who speak….”

My art is the life I have led and want to lead. I laugh my art, I sing my art, I dance my art and I enjoy my art. It represents many mornings of sending my daughters to school. It represents many afternoons of watching old men sitting on porches. It represents evenings of children playing ball in the streets. My art is the sound of ambulances and guns, of graduations and lives lived fully that transition at 90 years of age. My art is the sound that the deejays play in basement parties, street parties and club parties. It is the basis for my heart to beat and for me to live, to make change, inspire and be revolutionary.

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