Dancing with my shadow, Dancing with my totem, Dancing alone….’
Painting by Lin Barrie…
Dancing with my shadow, Dancing with my totem, Dancing alone is acrylic on canvas board, framed with Pod mahogany, size 4 x 3 feet.
It was exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe “Blood Relatives” (exhibition 2019)
In this acrylic painting, a woman dancer dances accompanied only by her shadow, stamping out her solitary rhythm in the dust of Africa, while overall looms her totem Ndhlovu, in the background, half obscured, but a force nevertheless….the challenge of human wildlife conflict and co-existence is implicit, but I choose to also illustrate a state of being, an aloneness. Maybe she is not so alone though with a powerful force, a ‘totem’ to shadow her every move.
For the exhibition Blood Relatives, with this painting, I choose to emphasis the questions:
when I dance, when I interact socially, who am I actually dancing with?
who am I actually talking to…..?
do I feel more distant and isolated today than in the past?
Is family identity, family Totem, as important as it once was?
Am I merely dancing with my shadow, talking to space, isolated and disempowered, or is the power of family, the power of totem, still as strong as before?
In the past, our families lived together more closely, were more reliant on each other for support, love, marriage and culture….now that people have dispersed from their family homes, and rely on technology for communication, we interact and see each other in a different way.
Although now we often “dance alone”, separated by distance or health issues from our loved ones, is the power of our respective cultures enough to connect us? Is the power of our Totems enough to continue to empower us, inform our decisions about life marriage and love? And during these times of isolation and lockdown, with the world in the grip of COVID-19 viral challenge, how much more alone and disconnected many of us feel….