This piece is about the Lord of the Crossroads- Papa Legba. In New Orleans Voodoo and Haitian Vodou, he is the intermediary between the loa and humanity, standing at the spiritual crossroads.
I am not an initiated practitioner of this religion and mean no disrespect, in fact, I wanted to honour him and have a deep respect for this religion. It is not my aim to appropriate others' religions, but I am a mystical person who is interested in a variety of spiritual/religious practices. This comes out in my art.
I found a picture online of this gentleman (if you search Papa Legba Swag, it will come up). He inspired me. I used this as a reference. I don't know who took the photo and did try to find its original source to ask permission to use it, but was unable as it was shared on a blog (imgfave-makebelieve) and the photographer or gentleman were not credited. This is what it's like in the digital age.
When I was a child, I remember seeing what some would say was a figment of my imagination- because it was a gentleman walking in our front yard with a stick and hat and because we lived in the middle of nowhere, I have always wondered if it was a spirit. No one else saw him and then he was gone. What I saw reminds me of how Papa Legba is sometimes represented.
The red candle is to honour him and his pipe, walking stick and keys are traditional symbols. The house in the background is the fishing house in Bayport, Florida-- where our family would go on weekends and where I would visit as an adult, before I immigrated to the UK. I loved that house.
These piece is unstretched canvas, but hung between two wooden dowels like a wall hanging. It is ready for hanging- dowels are included.
acrylic on canvas