May - July 2019
The African Studies Gallery in collaboration with Kuchinate – The African Refugee Women's Collective are pleased to announce Vodou Flags a new group exhibition of 25 Vodou flags from Haiti, created by leading Vodou artists, alongside works created by the Kuchinate women for the exhibition, under the guidence of Vodou flag artist Madam Moreau. The exhibition focuses on a key feature of the art that accompanies the Vodou rituals: flags used to summon spirits, made in varaious techniques such as embroidery, bead weaving, and sequins.
The African Studies Gallery invited Madam Moreau for a two weeks residency during which she created works with the women’s collective, applying techniques used to create Vodou flags. The workshop at the Kuchinate studiowas open to visitors and hosted guest artists artist Zoya Cherkassky and Gil Yefman.
The Vodou religion developed over several centuries and today it is the religion and culture of most Haitians. It is a system of beliefs that connects the visible and the invisible worlds. The scenes depicted on the flags are taken from the Vodou pantheon: a syncretism of deities from the various religions of the slaves brought from Africa to Haiti starting in the 16th century, deities form the religions of indigenous Haitians, and the Catholic saints the European colonizers brought with them.
The flags presented in the exhibition were borrowed from the private collection of Dr. Jacques Bartoli who lives in Haiti, with the generouse help of Sharona Natan, owner of El-Saieh Galleryin the capital Port-au-Prince.