As I continue to educate myself (and bring all of you along on my journey), I discoverd Yinka Orafidiya and was IMMEDIATELY struck by these cups in the first image, titled “Freedom Cups” from 2018, inspiried by the legendary freedom quilts of the Underground Railroad. (growing up in Lawrence, the civil war era and especially the Underground Railroad has always been of significant interest) I love what these cups represent, I love the patterns, and I love that they are dented. They are just so powerful and i REALLY want to hold them in my hands. Part of her artist statement outlines her belief “that interacting with a handmade object inexplicably links you to the spirit of the artist.” The next thing that struck me about her was “wow! HOW TALL IS SHE” I then immediately regretted even THINKING that, because as a tall lady myself, i get soooo sick of being asked, but it was more an exhuberant reaction to the commonality. Referring again to her statement, “In a fractured world where loneliness and isolation run rampant, I find even a momentary sense of unity to be invaluable” I couldn’t agree more. in this case, unity in height, but also, it would seem, in way of thinking. The big kicker, when i went to her website, I discovered that she did a pottery intensive with master potters in Ghana (that’s where my brother Asante lives). She’s now in Philadelphia, where Gerald Brown is. The more i research I do, the more connectedness I find. Presently, I believe she is continuing to work on her project “Crafting Community: Africa to America.” Its goal is to connect black women artists and curate unifying artist experiences in her hometown with the greater hope of inspiring a broader movement for creative social change. I love this project. Find out more on her website, included in our social links in our bio. Follow her instagram @crafting.community (which is also where most of these images come from) PS, the image with all of the beautiful red clay pots are from the women potters of ghana and they are HANDBUILT not thrown!!! 😍
My artwork is rooted in the desire to promote awareness of our shared humanity, connect, and effect social change.
I believe that interacting with a handmade object inexplicably links you to the spirit of the artist. Conscious awareness of this connection can lend a surreal quality to touching a pot created hundreds of years ago, or thousands of miles away. But even at the unconscious level, this subtle connection has the ability to invoke sensations of warmth, clarity, sensuality, and wholeness.
In a fractured world where loneliness and isolation run rampant, I find even a momentary sense of unity to be invaluable. And for me, providing such meaningful experiences for others is the most satisfying result that I hope to achieve with my work.