Àwọn Yèyélórìṣà, Akirè Shrine Ilé Ifẹ̀, 2003.
After I took this picture in 2003, I returned to find the group in 2017.
But for the two women at the extreme left, all the others had transitioned.
Everything had disappeared.
There was nothing left. Absolutely nothing. Zit.
But the Irunmoles have a way of ensuring that we don’t lose everything, even though we might be careless as humans.
When I came in 2001, 2002 and 2003, I worked with these women.
I made hours of videos, hundreds of photographs, and hours of voice tapes of them at work. I also got them to do lots of large and small paintings on canvas.
All these materials are in my garage here in Austin TX.
I gave about 5 paintings to the Denver Art Museum. I also gave them about 20 minutes of video that I edited myself on the old manual tape editor at the University of Colorado, Denver, where I was teaching.
In other words, I documented their works in toto.
When I returned in 2017, and realized that all the women had transitioned, I pulled out the materials on my laptop. And I began training young women in the neighborhood of the shrines to start a renaissance.
This has led to the development of ÀKÒDÌ ÒRÌṢÀ, which is a sanctuary for Yoruba women’s creativity, in Ilé Ifẹ̀.
Ọ̀rọ̀ mi kò jù báyǐ lọ.