yasmin hernandez welcome

 




 

 



Santa Madre Installation,
Goddesses detail



2003
Mixed media installation,
6' x 10'

This altar with the image of my mom, Santa Madre, is dedicated to her spirit guides and to all the strong spirits of women who are still with us in this world. The candle and glass of water are dedicatied to her spirits. The small statue of the African woman represents my mothers's "madama", one of her spirit guides. On either side of the painting are the remembrance cards of each of her parent's funerals. The flower to the left, the Bird of Paradise is an offering to my grandmother's spirit since it was her favorite flower. We always use this flower to honor her spirit. At my wedding I had all the bridemaids carry birds of paradise and had the reception hall decorated with this flower so that my grandmothers presence would be with us. We then collected the flowers and took them to her gravesite.

Many people at the opening reception responded mostly to this altar. One woman felt that it image and altar had elements of the female warrior orisha, Oya. After she made this comment I added a multicolored scarf to the altar for Oya. It's fitting because I see my mom as a survivor and wanted this particular altar to represent all women who have endured hardships. Oya is definitely the best orisha to represent this. Another woman from Korea felt that she could most identify with this altar. When I explained the significance behind this altar and my mother-in-law's altar, she told me that the irony in this installation is that women seem to only have peace in death. She appreciated an altar dedicated to the struggles of women and to celebrating our strength.

For a detail of the painting see Santa Madre.