Spirit of the masquerade is an collection of 150 small to large sculptures and 3d canvas wall hangings depicting various styles of West African “masks” as they would be seen and experienced if one were to visit various regions of West Africa. The majority of the collection feature Yoruba masquerade and a sampling of masquerade styles from Benin and Burkina Faso
This exhibition as well as other African Art styles is presented under my artist pseudonym Orisanmi Kehinde Odesanya
For more information visit: www.spiritofthemasquerade.com
2019 Seen and Unseen Exhibition (5 small sculptures African Masquerades) Artist Archives of the Western Reserve & Sculpture Center of Cleveland Cleveland, OH September – November 2019
2018 Spirit of the Masquerade(exhibition series of West African masquerades -sculptures and canvas art ) September, 2018 Kent State University
2018 CAN Cleveland Art Network Triennial Exhibition (Curated show of featured artists) Cleveland, OH
2017 MOJA Festival Exhibition Yoruba Masquerade sculptures Dance of the Ancestors: Egungun Masquerade September-October, 2017 The City Gallery Charleston, SC
2017 Coffee Phix “Gallery Space” South Euclid. OH
2016 Sixteen Crowns: Manifestation of Ase The City Gallery at Waterfront Park Charleston, SC
2016 Burkina Faso Bird Masquerade Contemporary African Spirituality January - April 2016 Calabar Gallery Harlem, New York
The Divine Feminine is what I want to capture ... mixing and blending concepts from the Revered Black Madonna across the world with spiritual attributes that any woman can resonate with and admire. Each creation bears her own attribute and likewise, her image is diverse from ebony to fair, with straight hair to kinky hair. She is US
"women of color" with pseudo - spiritual -religious images was and still is my inspiration for this series. I started with soft sculpting the dolls with cloth which led to sculpting with clay UNTIL they wanted to be larger than life. My canvas art is the next evolution
For Mothers Everywhere (10 dolls presented) Prama Art Gallery Parma, OH May,2019
African art dolls and Women of Grace (12 dolls presented) Art Showcase: Black History Month Forest Hills Presbyterian Church, Cleveland Heights, OH February, 2019
Food is Life & Ethiopian Madonnas At Table Exhibition, Heights Art Gallery August-October, 2018 Cleveland Heights, OH
Black Madonnas (canvas art) SANCTUS Jan-Feb 2018 Elevate Gallery · Slavic Village, OH
Images of the Madonna Ebony (dolls and canvas art) October-December, 2017 Mt Zion Congregational Church Cleveland OH
Yoruba Deity, Olokun represented by the ocean knows the shadows of the deep, where the treasures and bodies are laid to rest. She knows of the MAAFA, the travesties of the slave trade. She rises, veiled, from the depths, draped in cowries and precious stones, holding an enslaved, now free. Olokun presents his transitioned spirit and body to Olodumare. In the crest of her waves, lies another waiting to be witnessed.
A diorama depicting the depth of grief where the family has arrived at a tree where a loved one had been hanged and tortured. The noose is what they find, the body missing. A mother and her two children arrive in a state of grief. A friend arrives with her laundry. A friend arrives from the fields. Where do we find ourselves in compassion and understanding of their grief? Of the tragedy which unfolded? Of the lives forever changed and damaged?
For every act of violence, there is a witnessing of pain, sorrow, grief, anger, disbelief. We often think of trees as inanimate, but they live alongside us as the repository of our history and our present era. Trees are symbolic of ancestry – the roots of our past and the branches of the present, so the anthropomorphic representation of the tree as an ancestral spirit reflects this portrayal as she weeps for one held in her arms – a victim of tragic violence.
Tree sculpture with collage of Ankara Fabric (2019)
Featured at “In Honor of Trees” Exhibition Brecksville Center for the Arts, Brecksville, OH & After the Pedestal 12thExhibition, Cleveland Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH
Anthropomorphic Tree Sculpture (2019)
Ancestree, a mere play on the word Ancestry, is my inspiration on the African Family Tree - the source of heritage, culture and tradition.
Mixed media sculpture with Ankara fabric
Featured at Summer Mash-Up Exhibition, Wasmer Gallery, Ursuline College; and Karamu House Gallery, Residency Exhibition
2019 Anthropomorphic Tree Sculpture depicting four generations: Grandmother, Mother, Daughter with child in the womb Mixed media with collage of Ankara Fabric
Featured at After the Pedestal 12th Exhibition, Cleveland Sculpture Center
2019 Anthropomorphic Tree Sculpture depicting the Great Mother of a family tree presenting a child to the world.
Mixed media with collage of Ankara Fabric
Featured at Karamu House Gallery, 2019 Residency Exhibition
2019 Anthropomorphic Tree Sculpture d
Mixed media with collage of Ankara Fabric
2019 Tree Sculpture
Mixed media with collage of Ankara Fabric, Gourd and Cowries
Triptych, multimedia on canvas (3) 16x20 panels, applique of Ankara fabric, 3d sculpture on canvas, 2019
Inspired by the lyrics of Esparanza Spaulding song “Black Gold”, this triptych features an African Royal, lyrics and an African masquerade as symbols of African legacy
Exhibition History: “For the Culture” Art Residency, Karamu House, June, 2019 Cleveland, OH
Black Gold: African American Fiber Artist Exhibition, North Charleston, South Carolina May-June, 2019
Dimensions 5 x 6 ft Wall Hanging – created 2019 Media: Ankara fabric collage, mixed media with 3d elements
Description: In the heart and spirit of every child is the longing to embrace history, culture, and tradition – this is the remembering!
Exhibition history: Karamu House, 6/2019 “For the Culture” Art Residency
Working dimensions: 5 x 7 x 2 ft
Description: For the Yoruba, Egungun Masquerades represent a family bloodline as an embodiment of ancestors who have transitioned. They emerge from the realm of Spirit to be a forever presence of our connection to ancestry. As spirit, in this costumed form, they bring messages and blessings. In this wall composition, a Masquerade emerges from the realm or portal of spirit world into our physical realm.