For our blog we were suppose to go to the WCA (Waterloo Center for the Arts) and write about the art that we had seen in the Bahamaian Art exhibition and the Haitian Art collection. Unfortunately, I was unable to see all of the Haitian Art and none of the Bahamaian Art exhibition. I went to the WCA on Thursday morning and they had already taken the work down for the Holiday Arts Festival. However, I did go there over the summer and I saw the permanent Haitian art collection. At the time, I didn't know anything about Haitian Art.
From my summer visit I remember seeing large colorful and ornate, sequined fabric pieces. After taking this class I now know these works are Drapos. Drapos are religious flags or banners embellished with imagery and colors relating to spirits in Vodou religious worship. The sequins relate to spirits (lwa) in the Haitian Vodou practice. I also remember seeing the Veve of Ezili Freda, it was extraordinary. At the time I had no idea who or what it was, all I thought was that it looked very labor intensive, and ornately embellished, but I didn’t know what all of the images represented. I definitely also remember seeing the painting with the female baby with Madonna/Ezili Danto because I had such a hard time understanding it. At first it looked like a painting of the Madonna and Christ child but I knew it wasn’t because the child was female. I remember thinking that perhaps it was a portrait of important people depicted as if they were of religious significance. Taking this class has helped me to learn about the images I had seen. After reading the article by Karen McCarthy Brown on Mama Lola and the Ezili, it is clear to see that the images of Veve of Ezili Freda and female baby with Madonna/Ezili Danto are representations of the Ezili, which are the Haitian ideas of the power of women influenced by Yoruba and European religions to the Haitian culture.
This class has given me the knowledge to examine and understand Haitian Art and to understand the links of European and African culture on Vodou and how aspects of Vodou are portrayed in Haitian Art. I can't wait to go back to the WCA to look at the rest of the works of art from the Bahamaian exhibition and the Haitian collection with a more knowledgeable, and conscious perspective.