I make art in response to personal, political, and spiritual concerns viewing issues through lenses of sacred values, experience, research and spirituality. I am a white woman practicing Ifa-Orisha spirituality since 1993: I received Iya l’Orisha (priestess) initiation in 2007. Feminist epistemologies, movements for justice, and Women’s Spirituality also inform my work.
Most of my work is mixed media, I use all kinds of materials and the work takes many forms: fine art, ritual objects, pit-fired clay pottery and sculpture, decorated ceramic dishes and altars for community ritual.
Mediums and methods of Ifa-Orisha spirituality and art making are equally important in my practice—sacred knowledge, values, ritual are elements of my creative process along with guidance from ancestors and Orisha through direct communications, dreams, and divination.
I think of art works as visual expressions that embody and communicate knowledge and ashe, a Yoruba word for power as the energy of being, everything has (owns) ashe. Ifa-Orisha spirituality recognizes meaning, power, and story as alive in every event, every being, every thing, every juxtaposition. Similarly, in the images, texts, and juxtapositions of mixed media, photo collage, and ritual art forms we witness and experience meaning, story, and ashe.
Oshun’s Justice Shield
Prescribed by Ifa divination, this piece was made for protection. Mixed media: leather, found stick, acrylic paint, red pencil, cord, pendant, brass circle beads, palm twigs, mirror, 12″ X 15.” © 1999, 2021 Gail Williams.