Jeneil Williams & Grace Mahary in ‘Africa Motherland’ by Delphine Diallo for Vogue Portugal, April 2019.
Posted Apr 30, 2019
Jeneil Williams & Grace Mahary invite the light not to fall, but to spread over all in ‘Africa Motherland’ by Delphine Diallo for Vogue Portugal, April 2019. To honor individuality while “understanding our own humanity as an entity,” that is Delphine Diallo’s goal. I am truly moved by her brave work. She has a compassion that comes through the camera… with every click you can feel her dedication expressed. Her presentation of the physical is heightened by a real connection with the surroundings. She speaks of moving to remote areas and immersing herself in their culture. It’s through this exercise that we feel her authenticity rise. It is a gift she bestows through her work. Art is a reflection of our longing, of what we hold back and what we give forth. It’s a fusion of facts. It takes us through the valley of truth and leaves us lying in the path of promise. Here we can feel the veracity of her motivation. Expanding the imagination visit this spectacular area ~ if only in your mind. The distance between us may feel a lifetime apart ~ but this remote location feels close to my heart.
You must read Delphine’s compelling Bio, a rich reflection of her passion, and the goals she aims to attain. Stating, in no uncertain terms, she “seeks to challenge the norms of our society, by combining artistry and activism.” I am inspired by her take on the concept of photographic expression. She builds a unique rapport with her subjects by spending significant time and investing real energy. This allows for trust to grow and then truth to follow. That is the only way we can enjoy real change. Delphine, and the hero’s of her ilk, are taking their artistry to another level. An intellectual level. One that, if honored, will open the world to change. She longs to foster a “Universal Connection,” lending to an atmosphere of collaborative support. “We are living in a world of big identity crisis… I’m very concern about the fact that it can makes us loose the understanding of our own humanity as an entity… the real meaning of art is to break all those boxes to come together as one.” Take a moment and let these words sink in, sincerely. Ultimately, it’s our only chance for lasting survival. Her spirit is alive with change. I hope that all who come in contact with her fine work will be inspired.
Laura Stiassni captures the spirit of unity in this exquisite array of face/body art. Rich with inspiration, these designs evoke a sense of pride. Paying tribute to the Omo Valley People, of Southern Ethiopia. A region known for it’s historic relevance. The tribes that live in the lower Omo Valley are believed to be among the most fascinating on the continent of Africa, and around the world. This is a celebration of a community. Powerful pigments play across their skin as flowers and feathers adorn their heads. What we are seeing is applications that are an extension of their beings. “They use nature-inspired minerals, clay, blocks, flora and fauna to connect with the spirits and to protect from the environment.” This isn’t akin to a piece of clothing placed over the skin, or cosmetics to meant to cover. This is raw power that’s punctuated by purity. When clay is placed over the face or decorations are drawn with precision and passion, one gets the sense that that there are deeper issues at hand. Different earthly materials serve different purposes. This isn’t an addition artfully placed to enhance or intensify. Rather, the use of clay, earth, ash, and dung are used in everyday life as medicine and protection against disease or misfortune. This story captures the cultural relationship with clay.
The endeavor to depict such a unique and storied culture would be daunting. Here, however, we had the hand of Diallo leading the way, and her effect was inspiring. Grace has a softness that evokes a sense a playful yearning, with wistful energy that’s calming. While Janiel, was for me, a more intense experience. The breadth and depth of her performance was outstanding. Sadness spoke to a deeper yearning, while her quietness captured a wealth of emotions. It was through her adaptation that I felt the most connected. This editorial presents pride through throughout presentation. Here, I pay tribute to the indigenous, tribal people of the lower Oma Valley. Jeneil and Grace pay homage to the beauty of these ancient tribes by becoming human canvases themselves. Experience the power of the Oma Valley People through the incredible work of Delphine Diallo.
“The cradle of humanity, seems to represent a way of life that dates from prehistory and once enabled humankind to overcome the hostility of nature. Art was then a means of survival.” Hans Silvester looks at the topic of humanity in Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa ~ explore this amazing work from a Human Perspective in anneofcarversville.com