Oshun's Smile in the English Woods

Oshun's Smile nr.1

Sculpture and digital print, 2020

Oshun's Smile nr.2

Sculpture and digital print, 2020

Oshun's Smile nr.3

Sculpture and digital print, 2020

I was on my daily walk and started to wonder at how jungle like the English countryside is if left to its own devices. I documented the places I felt a geographical confusion, places I felt could have been Jamaica.

As I walk I always feel I don't belong here I am always looking for things that I can identify with.

In one of those places, I noticed a twisted smile it was at once a beatific smile and one that reminded me of familiar loving gap-tooth aunties. 

I felt instinctively it was Oshun in the woods. But which Deity was Oshun again? How amazing to find her in England. 

 

I gathered the smile up and walked home. Oshun is the deity who loves sunflowers and all things golden.  Knowing this and because of the fragility of the smile I determined to cast the smile in bronze which would please her.

The structure of the smile is also an essay on our interconnectedness and so worth preserving.

 

It was compelling to me to create a work to a goddess that is renowned for her physical beauty depicting only her smile. I thought this was a much more expansive idea of Oshun. I also thought it was interesting in a time when a fraction of statues depicting lifelike renditions of men sometimes to be replaced by lifelike statues of women to centre an abstraction of one of the many deific forces that many real bodies regardless of gender will have drawn on during the transatlantic crossing and continue to do so across the diaspora today.  To make a work honouring a persona without the figure. 

For this show, I return Oshun to the woods in which I found her.

 

I surround her with me, women and intergender individuals that channel her energy for large audiences today and two of the other species that affected me on the walk

 

I also wanted to include the emails that informed me I was unable to finish the work as envisioned because the price of creating a bronze was beyond me but was declined permission to do so. 

Sunflower and

spinach from

my lockdown

veg garden