TS14: Angelique Nixon
CONCEPT DESCRIPTION for TS2014
“Moon rituals in times of crisis” offers a spirit revolution of 12 full moons during the Year of the Water Snake (Feb 2013 thru Jan 2014 – following the lunar calendar and Chinese astrology).
We are living during times of crisis (environmental, social, economic, spiritual), and this past year of rebirth and transformation led us more fully into the consciousness shift that I believe we need to create, cultivate, and sustain real change.
This installation honors the moon’s power over water, our bodies, emotions, spirits, and the earth. As the moon affects the ocean’s tides, she also affects our bodies and emotions. This project seeks to explore these relationships and offer visual, spiritual, and ritual engagement with the moon. Each full moon is represented through my photographs, along with my meditations based on various astrological readings about that particular full moon (through Sun Sign and Chinese astrology).
My full moon rituals involve this process of spiritual practice and creation — as I take the photographs, write in my journal, and then engage my full moon meditation. During this time of planetary shifts, the return of the divine feminine, and the intense trouble we are all in, I turn to the moon for self healing and ritual in order to participate spiritually and psychically in movements for radical social change. I document my moon rituals through photographs, literary art, and pastels on paper – with 12 individual pieces that will be displayed together as one large installation, which will also include an audio recording of my voice describing the ritual and practice.
1. What was the inspiration behind your water-themed artwork for Transforming Spaces 2014?
Since I was a young girl, I have followed the moon and felt her power. And I’ve always fascinated by how much the moon controls the ocean tides and also our bodies and emotions. And so when I saw the theme of water for this year’s transforming spaces, I immediately thought of the moon — and wanted to create my artwork around these moon rituals I have been doing for the past couple years. So my inspiration was the moon and my rituals around moon worship; also paying attention to the cosmos and focusing on spiritual practice and healing in order to be part of movements for radical social change.
2. What was your biggest challenge, joy or learning experience in creating your piece for this project?
My biggest challenge was framing the pieces and putting the audio together. My greatest joy and learning experience happened during late nights of creating each piece and playing with pastels to get the balance of colors and dimension on each one. Also, as I revisited my moon journal, using my instagram photos and posts to start the process of creating each piece, I learned more about myself. I began to see even though each month had specific intentions, my meditations and intentions still matter and are part of my continued growth and healing. This was powerful and affirming.
3. Words of wisdom… a motto, favorite quote?
My mantra: “strong like saltwater, defiant like moon tides”
“I am a feminist, and what that means to me is much the same as the meaning of the fact that I am Black: it means that I must undertake to love myself and to respect myself as though my very life depends upon self-love and self-respect.” – June Jordan
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde
Angelique V. Nixon is a writer, artist, teacher, scholar, activist, and poet – born and raised in The Bahamas. She is deeply committed to the struggle for gender, racial, and sexual equality and movements for social, economic, and environmental justice. Angelique holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Florida, where she specialized in Caribbean literature, postcolonial studies, and women and gender studies; and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Africana Studies at New York University.
Her work as a scholar, cultural critic, and poet has been published widely in academic and literary journals. She is co-editor of the online multi-media collection Theorizing Homophobias in the Caribbean: Complexities of Place, Desire and Belonging. And she is author of the poetry and art collection Saltwater Healing – A Myth Memoir and Poems published by Poinciana Paper Press, in a letterpress cover, hand-bound, limited edition. Her artwork “Saltwater Healing” was featured in Transforming Spaces FIBRE 2012. Angelique works through her art, writing, and community work to disrupt silences, challenge systems of oppression, and carve spaces for resistance and desire.
Photos courtesy of the artist