NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2013 - Page 133

dc: No, I’m in the Lexus, but since that moment in 1977 I realized one thing, this cultural thing does not belong to one country, each country takes a piece of the puzzle, the story is told differently, but it all comes from the same foundation. What I do is conjure up landscapes in my head, and then I place people in them. When I say people mostly I mean women, because this spirit woman that the Hindus talked about was a very strong woman, and they always described this spirit as a woman. I’ve never seen this spirit, but my liaison officer over in Nigeria, she described her to me too, and she described her as a woman. So every time I conjure up this landscape in my mind, it is populated and permeated by women. As I see it, this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with my cultural background, it’s an image, it suggests other images. rm: Is it a conjuring? dc: Not really, but after my encounter in Nigeria I went back to Guyana and became involved in the whole spiritual thing. rm: So you did get involved? BRN-FALL-2013.indb 131 m RMH #2, 2011 Charcoal, pastel, acrylic emulsion, and ink on paper 59” x 72” dc: Yes, because I wanted to find out what it was all about. So I would go down to the seashore with some friends, and we found there an old African Guyanese woman offering libations and fruits to this woman of the sea. And I remembered again as a child seeing the Indian women go down to the seashore and make offerings of libations to the same spirit, Indian and African culture had mixed. rm: Are there a lot of cultural mixtures of African and Indian (East Asian) in Guyana? dc: Yes, we African Guyanese celebrate Phagwah, which is the Hindu festival of spring. rm: Let me ask you about your early work, from around that time, 1977, did that work directly reflect your new interest in traditional spiritualism at that time? dc: Not so much. rm: So this never really wo