Cuba Up Close: Join us in February! 'Cuba Natural 'details below.
Cuba Up Close: Join us in February! 'Cuba Natural 'details below.
Temple Art is an objective art project comprised of Isabel M. Arche and Ramón M. Martín. Their collection has more than 60 works of plastic arts and more than 150 musical pieces and poetry, among others. All the works are original and unpublished and carried out as part of the Temple Art project, including:
Multiple cosmogonic cultures with their rich visual and literary images. Their concepts, symbols, archetypes and traditions are intertwined like the beads of a necklace for drawing other new flowers with their story lines.
The Yoruba cosmovision is the fabric and undergirding of this 40-piece collection. Nine of them are part of the art exhibit, “Temple Art.”
Isabel María Arche Martínez (b. 1969) is a graduate of the Graduate Design School in Havana. She worked as a designer for several firms including Emprov II (1992-93), Botique Glamor (1993-98), Energy Magazine, Cubasolar, and the United Nations project, OTOZ (1999-2002).
Ramon Modesto Díaz Martín (b. 1968) is a member of UNEAC (National Writers and Artists’ Union). He studied at Havana’s Superior Institute of Art (ISA) and earned graduate credit through his work with Professor Martín Pedreira, on guitar-interpretation techniques, Professor Armando Romeu on harmony and orchestration, musical composition classes with Alfredo Gómez Alonso, Carlos Fariñas and Carlos Puig. The maestro Tomás Fortín also taught him orchestration. Early this century, he began working on the Temple Art project and, since 2007, has been a full-time member of this artistic endeavor.
Mamiwata: Acrylic on canvas, inlaid with porcelain and glass beads and cowrie seashells.
Mamiwata is one of the many names given to the god of the seas and the oceans. It was created in the collective conscience of the African Atlantic coast during the colonial era. Mamiwata is the mother of life, the patron saint of captains and sailors, the defender of orphans and iniciados . All of the features of water deities are attributed to her. She also stands for modernity and a new wave.
This image shows the joining of fire with water; ‘The fire god enters the water, its male form becomes female.” Therefore, she is living water, burning water. An ocean wave created by a serpent that opens a gate from the depths of the sea where the deity can be seen. The deity’s image is projected through three large primary-colored eyes which remain at the gate and supported by fish. Eshu, protector of the four cardinal directions, is seen here in an aquatic setting as a two-tailed magic fish –an allegoric reference to Olokun—the deity of the deep sea.
This arrangement of the pieces crerates a unified ensemble. A prayer or a cryptic message directed to the visitor’s psyche ensures a symbolic syntax.
Shown here are the two embroidered pots (IZbeyi Orun), the staff (shown below in detail), vence batta forever (shown below in detail), an the barca de los ibeyis.
Price of all four pieces: $21,000
Isa and Ramon
“Las Estrellas” Acrylic on canvas, embroidered with porcelain and glass beads, and mounted on sticks covered with cotton yarn 98 x 85 cm (39 x 33”).
These two groups of four stars are part of “The Book of Stars” which is a mathematical study of the oracle by Ifa. The artwork here consists of eight images and has 22 stars in all. The work stems from the Odun de Ifa, grouped in mathematical and geometric order. Twenty-one of these stars each are distributed along its four points, and each point has a triad and a counter twist.
The unique numbers and triads, among other traits, are new concepts that are not part of this tradition. Rather, and as noted above, they stem from a mathematical study applied to the numbers of Ifa that have resulted in many books and images.
“Babalu Aye’s Flag” : A flag of carnival fabric, 160 x 160 cm (63” x 63”).
This is one of 16 flags from the aasa fun collection. It is made of symbolic projections that are perceived in the active forces of nature which are called Orishas. Symmetric designs in a square format laid over cloth reveal the psychological landscapes of the Orishas who express our present-day relationship with Yoruba culture. Such elementary symbols as circles, triangles and squares become the visual means that aim to portray the Orisha in a universal language. The circle expresses all that which is not trapped in the passage of time, while the triangle stands for the world of ideas or a nominal world. It is the objective conscience in constant motion –evolution and destruction—moving in different values of intensity that frame the square. And the square represents the visible, tangible, physical or phenomenal world. Thus each symbol or logo is like a snapshot of the present: A reality that is ever changing and renews itself.
The symbols are inserted in a purple-colored square with four arrowheads that point within and are united by a line that forms part of a cross. Taken together, they signify the purification of material that will clean, purify and organize the Earth along its red and blue basic keys. These serve for finding addresses and the black and white are for the seats and domains.Thus, the Earth is also made up of each one of us.
Price: $7,000 (includes Eshu Odara to the right)
“Eshu Odara”: A forked staff1made of guayaba wood, 133 cm (52”), wrapped in cotton yarn, porcelain and glass beads, and cowrie seashells.
Eshu is the gatekeeper of life. A minute particle or a magical substance that permeates all of creation. Here, it represents itself as Odara and reassures that everything is okay. The head is a güira --a wooden percussion instrument inlaid with beads—and shows the red and black symbols thst we designed for the flag of Elewa. The union between Eshu and Elewa is powerful: Elewa is the deity that creates the path of our lives, and the path even leads us to Eshu and his role as the messenger for all deities and denominations of the highest order. A tinted crown of colored feathers adorns his head. The igun bird is responsible for carrying to the heavens the offerings and sacrifices. When completed, it tells us: “The ebo or 6
sacrificed have been elevated.” A mirror made of concentric circles represents Osun the saint, Athena or the symbol of the deity, and reflects heaven and transmits the message.
The güira also serves as a maraca while the stick is an instrument used to separate the weeds when they are cut by the machete.
The guayaba stick [or staff] is 133 cm long with cotton yard embroidery, porelain and glass beads, and cowrie shells.
Price: $7,000 (includes Babalu Aye to the left)
The unique numbers and triads, among other traits, are new concepts that are not part of this tradition. Rather, they stem from a mathematical study applied to the numberts of Ifa that have resulted in many books and images.
Acrylic on canvas, embroidered with porcelain and glass beads, placed on the outer and interior extremes on wooden staffs wrapped in cotton threads. 98 x 85 cm.
“Win the Battle Forever.” A staff made of “win the battle” dried herbs, 102 cm (40”) long, embroidered by cotton yard, porcelain and glass beads, and cowrie seashells.
This is part of the ensemble shown at the top of the page.
Five deities displayed on this cane share and work on the forever battle. The head or handle is dedicated to Osain, the god of sticks and herbs, and is the keeper of the forest. Next to her is a mirror that reflects the light, and on the other side is a monogram of symbols that Osain created for his banner, upon which is inscribed “Oduara”: a pointy rock imbued with magical powers. In the middle of the piece is Osha Ode, a composite of three orishas with their respective colors and insignias. These three include Ogun, Oshosi and Elewa. In connection with the Earth, the base is dedicated to Egun, [the God of?] our ancestors. The cane bifurcates into two branches: One touches the ground, and the other shows reveals the monogram with the symbol of “Holy Land” in colors from the four major world regions.
Cane is 102 cm long, embroidered with cotton yarn, porcelain and glass beads, and cowrie shells.
Ibeyi orun” Pots made from acrylic-painted güiras (African percussion instruments) wrapped in cotton yarn, glass and porcelain beads and seashells.
This is part of the ensemple shown at the top of the page.
Numbers refer to magical powers that are embedded in objects and places.
The Ibeyi, spirit of boy and girl twins, children of water and fire, are warrior orishas. They symbolize the renovation of male and female energies present in everything created.
The blue vessel or crock, Taiwo, shows seashells arranged in groups from four to seven. The red vessel, Kainde, contains land shells intertwined with cowrie shells arranged in six groups with four in each one. The number four signifies its physical manifestation, the number 7 refers to Yemeya, the goddess of the seas, while the six is in reference to 10
Chango, the fire deity. Both vessels’
lids look like firmly focused eyes set just below a “V” which is the symbol of liberty.