A display of effigies, fetishes, charms and objects that is reminiscent of a natural history ‘cabinet of curiosities’, a ceremonial altar and a ritual of organic objects. The Anthropomorphs inhabit the edge of the light and are guardians of the thresholds between the living and ancestral realms. These effigies are sculptural objects that are imbued with spiritual significance. They combine animal skulls and bones with doll parts and found objects. Referencing the human body and experience, as well as zoomorphic shapes, they speak to notions of potency, death, transformation, fearlessness and the power of intention. Some have been buried and unearthed. Some are silkscreened with text. A symbolic visual language seen in the work explores ideas of piercing, binding, bundles and intersections.
Inspiration is drawn from magic practices of the medieval den hysbys[i] of Wales and cunning folk[ii] of Britain and Europe (utilized doll fetishes and charms), as well as so called “shamanic art”, outsider art, medicine bundles, altars and throwing the bones[iii] The work is informed by my exposure to certain North and South American ceremonies, South African sangoma[iv] ceremonies and African muti[v] markets. Display elements include cloches, vitrines, cabinets and shelves.
[i] Medieval practitioners of magic
[ii] British and European practitioners of magic
[iii] South African sangoma divination ceremony
[iv] South African traditional healer
[v] South African traditional medicine