From the universe of colours and myths in Knights of the Zodiac sprang my desire and my enchantment towards painting. At the age of fourteen, I used to copy the heros from the animation using carbon paper and coloured them in with crayons. Nowadays I realize that it was the aesthetic quality of Knights of the Zodiac (a blend of Greek and Nordic mythologies) that allowed me to enter the world of art.
Soon afterwards I was admitted to the School of Visual Arts in Goiânia and I began my studies in painting. During classes, I witnessed the gradual appearance of the elements which now form the basis of my artistic work: the body.
The black body, silenced by fear, insecurity, individuality, and transience. The references which I seek in this body – these black bodies, in fact – are the suburbs, the congadas (Afro-Brazilian religious and cultural festivals), and the terreiros (Candomblé worship places) and rites of African-born religions.
Saint Benedict is Black, Father,
I too am Black, Mother,
This gathering is for Blacks, Father
Oh! Lady of the Rosary!
The excerpt above, taken from a song played by the terno de congo (a group of congadeiros) known as 13 de Maio, in the neighbourhood of Vila Mutirão, in Goiânia, confirms my preference for these black spacialities, in which myths acquire new life and meaning; in which ordinary people become kings and queens of Congo and renew their faith in Afro-Brazilian religiousness, which brings together Catholic saints and African deities and contemplates the sacred element in music, dance, body, and movement.
Throughout the reflections brought forth by my work, the body is the central element, and with the individual body as a starting point I intend to reach collectiveness.
I use silence to communicate ideas, to awaken all that bothers me, to rethink imprisoning images and to open up margins that present these black bodies in other stories, other structures, capable of acknowledging the protagonism of individuals who have been historically silenced.
Such narratives are yet to be uttered, written, told, represented. This challenge prompts me to perform and take up (or continue?) this mission which began in the remote past that I cannot reach through memory, a mission undertaken by those who came before and led the way…
(Revisão e tradução: Gisele Dionísio da Silva)