“What is it that makes subject matter stand out ? Is it the subject, is it composition, or is it spiritual force? I say it’s the spiritual force.”
James W. Washington, JR.
It is the Divine force of spirit in nature and The Ancestors that I most wish to commune with through art. Honoring nature and The Ancestors is a way of piercing the veil between the realm of the seen and unseen, the tangible and intangible. The ritual of creating art provides a communication and connection with the Divine spiritual force that provides healing for historical wounds. I create in the darkest hour right before the dawn hoping remembrance will bring a new way and day of equality.
As a multi-media visual installation artist, I strive for the polarity between vulnerability and denial of historical wounds to eradicate Post Traumatic Slavery Syndrome ( www. joydegruy.com.) The art is built on the spiritual armature of “Honoring the Ancestors and Mother Nature by Creating Healing Cultural Compassionate Art.” taking the past and putting a new face on the forgotten becomes a play on the polarity of politics with nature, black humanity with collective oneness, whimsical with writhing, and the surface mind with the deep mind.
As a sprouting self-taught artist the roots of my inspiration, are firmly planted in the Los Angeles Black Assemblage Art Movement of Noah Purifoy, John Outterbridge and Betye Saar by listening to stories from John Outterbridge who first planted the seed. My creative soil has a mixture of Southern and* African Folkloric compost containing, found objects, nature and waste . My continuous garden is the crop of 10,000 “Strange Fruit.”
“*Africans may use all the materials that their environments put at their disposal in order to express their ideas about God. For them everything that surrounds them exhibits a sort of transparency that allows them to communicate directly with heaven. Things and beings are not obstacles to the knowledge of God; rather they constitute signifiers and indices which reveal the divine being.”( Zane 1979, 15 )”