Looking Back Part 4: More art-related thoughts

In 2006, I saw “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” and was quite stricken by the beauty and charisma of Tia Dalma. I realized she was a fictional Voodoo character, but as an artist I was quite taken by her and quite surprised to realize she was played by Naomie Harris of “28 Days Later,” one of my favorite horror films. Between the makeup and her accent, I had not recognized her. Also, at the time, I had no interest in converting to Vodou so my interest in her was mainly visual. I made up my mind I would create a sculpture based on her.

I can be quite obsessive about things, and I wanted to research the subject of Voodoo before creating my sculpture. Of course I knew it was a real religion and, being Wiccan at the time, I was all too aware of negative stereotypes. I began searching for books on Voodoo, and found that this was no easy task. Big booksellers like Barnes and Noble or Borders maybe had one or two books, if you were lucky. So what I ended up with for that first sculpture project were two books, one on Hoodoo (“Hoodoo Mysteries” by Ray Marlbrough) and “Mark of Voodoo” by Sharon Caulder. I had initially chosen them because of their illustrations and photos, but later read both of them. The Caulder book has become one of my favorite tomes, not just for the amount of information in it, but also because Ms. Caulder presents it as an autobiography that reads like an adventure story.

Caulder’s book also contained an excellent referral list, which led to me buying more books.

This might seem like a loosely connected chain of events to some, but I am always fascinated by the weird paths in life that lead us to places.

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2 Responses to “Looking Back Part 4: More art-related thoughts”

  1. i think it’s actually quite interesting when there’s a whole set of things which bring us to something, which each individually wouldn’t have meant much, but which all together are suddenly significant.

  2. cheshirecatman Says:

    I agree. People expect “guidance” in life to come in the form of earth-shattering miracles, but sometimes it’s just a collection of small things that form an overall pattern.

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