Santa Madre Installation,
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.