Arts of Barry R Irving
(C) Neo Afro
(C) Afroneo
Neo Afro Genre
(C) Awo

Community Folk Arts Central... Art  Moves!


Ogbon O

Where Salt and Fresh Waters Meet

These Orisha drawings stem from my many years of freestyle drawing where I free associate themes into my compositions. These are based in abstraction as intent. Exploring texture, form, symbolism, line shading and depth VS light. Having a knowledge of Orisha Folklore acts as a base of confidence in drawing freely without planning because the object in the end is the general theme of Orisha Character. The symbolism keeps the theme focus on Orisha, though the style is abstraction and figurative abstraction. These drawings are not traditionally African genre wise except in their narrative and symbolism. The Composition is based in Modernism because I am African American culture wise.
The African element is a quiet constant of thought / expression.
I did not have all of this worked out when I completed my B.F.A. Degree full time in 2007. There was a bit of disagreement as to what Genre I was working in. One professor who I did not have for classes suggested that I identify with Modernism, but I already had my orientation and I chose Neo Expressionism ( Painting ) which has an African American oriented association. I worked for the first time on Canvas, ideas that were done on fabric 17 years earlier. I have done more painting development on fabric ( Clothing ) than Canvas.  My drawing style is my major tool in Fabric Painting because the paint is applied with a fine point squeeze bottle. In my Neo Expressionist style, I employ Pointillism ( Seurat ) and Splatter painting
( Jackson Pollack ) This series came in the midst of a large series of drawings and paintings on a small scale. Some were as little as 2" X 4".
You can see them on the drop down as ...

Twinning ...

Sacred Twins "Ibeji"
 Meji / Taiwo & Kehnde
...Taiwo...the First to enter the world...Kehinde the Second Born who waits

I differentiate between these design based Orisha drawings and the more Iconic type also featured here on the "Awo Ogbon Orisa" drop down. The forms are Sculptural & centered in texture, planes, edges and depth. 
When I do larger more complicated pieces, this focus allows infinite possibilities in creating images because you develop a consciousness of working with line, form and texture as a base or springboard. These are design based approaches tha suggest the Spiritual component from repitition.

Shango Jakuta
Yemanja Oshun   

In this piece Shango Jakuta, the God Of Fire & Lightning is paired with Yemanja the Salt Water Mother energy. Oshun the Goddess of fresh Waters is represented at the bottom as the Mermaid or Maiden Energy. The implication is that Shango ( Xngo ) as the Diaspora Umbrella has a relationship ansd spiritual union with the Mother in all of her aspects. I represent Yemanja'Oshun in my mature Water Spitits. The Symbolism is "Where Salt and FreshWaters Meet" which is an actual phenomenn in Nature. Rivers and Lakes lead out to Sea. but The Crossroads of this Spiritual Union is significant in how people relate to or imprint Orisha

Oya Niger Patroness of the Niger River, Nigeria W. Africa

...Orisa Oya is the Tempestuous Mother of the Winds...The Tornado and the Consort to Shango / Jakuta, Lord of Fire and Lightening. In Diaspora folklore, Oya gave Shango dominion over Fire to defeat Ogun, God of Iron in a battle for Oya's affections. That is a new World Narratve. In Yoruba Land, Jakuta is Lord of Fire and shango is The Obba ( King ) Since Orisa Tradition survived through Slavery, 

Xngo Alafino ( The Umbrella ) carried both roles. Here is Oya on a Cool Day - The aftermath of her natural flow in the Universe wh=ere Man builds his home. Pictured are the signs of regeneraton, rebirth, repair amd memories.

Yemanja Olokun - 2009

Yemanja's role in Diaspora Yoruba Consciousness changed with an added dimension. "The Cleanser" - The Great Waters of Yemanja took the unfortunate victims of the Middle Passage of the rans atlantic slave Trade, who were thrown overboard or who lept rather than accept a life of Slavery. I illustrate that aspect in my "Awo Ogbon Orisa" section on the drop down. Yemanja is two entities. The Uphotic or top layer of the Seven Seas is her Feminine aspect. Olokun"DIna is her Masculine aspect or Lord of the Deep...Yemanja Olokun...The Foundaton of Water...

Osun D'Ina - 2009

Osun D'Ina - Orisa Oshun is a primary Divinity in the Yoruba Pantheon. 

Mother of Fresh Waters, Wealth, Fertility, Children, Love, Sensuality and the Blood Stream. In Diaspora, she is mainly known in her role as the Goddess of Love. She carries a Round Fan as the Water Spirits do when they dance or greet people.

Oshun - 2009

WHERE SALT AND FRESH WATERS MEET ... Orisha are aspects of the forces of Nature and therefore cooperative as well as clashing among themselves and against humanitys grain of the social order. Yemanja Oshun is the Union of Female Generations in a sense...the younger with the elder. It is also the Sister Relationship as well as the Mother and Daughter. Yemoyale the Great Mother and Oshun the Maiden Queen. An essential example today.

...Baba John Mason, author of "Orin Orisa" ( Songs for Orisa ) stated that