I'm Mahari. I'm an artist/ curator living and working between Richmond, and Newport News Virginia. Making is magic. I get to choose how to heal. My work is rooted in a black feminist cosmology that guides my survival and spiritual maturation. I am committed to my shadow, the personification of everything my ego fears to acknowledge. I'm wearing Cuprite these days.
I am the 2019 - 2020 recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship. I am the 2020 recipient of the Visual Arts Center Emerging Artist Award. I keep a daily journal. I religiously read Black Women writers like Tananarive Due, Octavia Butler, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, & Ntozake Shange. I love soul music. Folks like Earth Wind & Fire, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Sade, & Alice Coltrane. My practice is my salve; liberatory magic medicine making. I bear the weight of being well, well.
Aroya is an abstraction of a recognizable subject rendered in such a way as to distance it from reality while deeply communicating its essence. Naturalistic images endeavor to summarize the observable or recognizable features of the physical self. Aroya conceptual images are concerned with the essence of the subject; the metaphysical self.
As a Yoruba incantation puts it : the eyes will never fail to greet the beautiful.
The affective power of any given work of art depends on good composition, symmetry, clarity of mass, relative thoughtfulness of posture, meticulous delineation, relative luminosity and delicacy yes, but how does the work share soul?
Awoyanu : food for the eyes - that which causes the viewer to gape as if manifested by such an incredibly high artistic (creative source) skill as to suggest the use of the occult. To be a good vessel is my dream.