Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hand of Glory

(Anne M. Huskey Lockard, copyright 2009. All rights reserved)
At the request of Tristan from Enchanted Revelry yesterday, I am posting the piece I was working on in the photo shoot. This is one with a long story and will probably require two posts.
It is another in the "Dualities" series, this one dealing with HooDoo in the New Orleans area. First off, I want to say although I have read extensively about Vodou (which is a legitimate religion) and HooDoo (which is something totally different--almost folk religion/medicinal/magical belief), I am no expert. Any mistakes I have made in interpretation of either are not meant to offend. In depth studies and literature are hard to come by, so at best, this piece embodies my interpretations and artistic response.
The hand on the front is typical of the many signs you used to see in the South as an advertisement for a Spiritual Reader. In HooDoo, the "Hand of Glory" has particular significance and power, which is far too much for me to explain here. I just wanted something that was a visible, recognizable symbol and for most people, the palm readers hand is it. The front of the canvas then, represents a quasi-religion, that although not supported by locals, is/was something tolerated.
The sides of the canvas again use the moth as a symbol of the souls release. This particular moth is from a watercolor I did many years ago; it was dead when I found it but in good condition and one wing was a bit tattered. It fits perfectly into this Post-Katrina series. This is more about the areas that are off the beaten path, still a bit battered, things forgotten. While the front has the textures and shabby elegance of the old New Orleans, the sides begin the journey to the back, which I will post tomorrow.
I am asked why I choose to do work like this, things that seem to have disappeared from our current world. Well, because they haven't completely, and I believe there is a certain amount that should be preserved, despite the authenticity of the belief per certain religious views. It was/is a part of an old culture and worthy of some form of preservation.
There is beauty in the decay, in the disappearance of these things. There is no shame in remembering them.
Tomorrow I will post the back of the piece, which will have a lot of text due to the content. I hope you enjoy it, if not for what it represents, at least for the technique that has been used and looking at it strictly as ART.
That, I suppose, is an artists hardest job; making the viewer feel comfortable with the piece and then being able to tell the story and defend the work critically. There is so much I could ramble about with this canvas and why I love it, but I would rather have your response and what you see.
Good or bad---post it.
Now have a good creative day, be happy and please, ask questions if you have them! I would love to answer them as best I can.


Tristan Robin Blakeman said...

Thanks for posting the photos - and the lecture was really interesing. I always thought that Voudou and HooDoo were the same thing, just pronounced differently by different dialects.I find the moth intriguing - and very beautifully executed. The idea of the soul's release is quite a comforting one, and the moth represents it very well!

Looking forward to the reverse side!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Gosh....I was hoping it would not sound *lecturey* but there is a lot of research that went into the piece, which really, I suppose I could have posted without any background info.
I will say this---the back is totally different than the front, and hopefully not a disappointment!

Jan said...

This is a big part of why your work is so enjoyable, there is so much that goes into it besides the visible work. Even if one does not know the thought process behind the piece, it adds to the artfulness of it in a subtle way. Or not so subtle.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Thanks! I always wonder when I do the *behind the scenes* if it might drive people off.
This series probably has provoked the most thought of what I have done so far and while it makes it slower to produce, there is a deep satisfaction when a piece is complete.

Leslie said...

I love it, reminder, reminder, reminder, LOL you owe me some art!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Yes dear.....I hear you loud and clear! The three folks to whom I owe art will get something especially made for them.
Hey, I actually made it to the cellar today and got some background color laid in on a canvas! WHOOOOOO--HOOO!!!!
Of course, that means I could not stand upstairs to do the paying work..... :(
Oh well, sometime soon.

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