Angela Anela Cantrell
Girl Running on Pier Sheboygan, Wisconsin (2019)
28" x 64"
Photography Printed on Gallery Wrapped Canvas Print
I am Native Hawaiian and a former teacher. Last April, I moved to Wisconsin to be near my dad's family (Chicago family moved to Wisconsin recently). In October, I was hired as a limo driver taking Wisconsin corporate managers from Sheboygan to O'hare Airport. Then COVID and all work stopped. That was early March. Since then I've had more time to work on my art and volunteer at galleries. With the Covid pandemic and recent protests against police killings of blacks in the U.S., people worldwide are facing death, hate, uncertainty, and grief. My new work is a response to these troubles. Since 2018, I've used my iPhone camera and Photoshop to create 1) impressionist, candid "Beach Scapes" (shot street style) that focuses on people in movement especially kids and families, and 2) two conceptual series with a spiritual message: "Gothic Soul" and "Namaste." "Namaste" is a conceptual self-portraiture series where I characterize the attributes of Brahman, the Divine Consciousness and Atman, our true Self. Brahman (God) and the Self are not two separate beings according to Hindu non-dualism philosophy, Advaita Vedanta. Therefore, an image of me can be read as both Atman, the true Self and Brahman, God. I call this series, Namaste because it is a greeting that means "The divine in me respectfully recognizes the divine in you." I use collage and Warhol-like replication of imagery in different hues in a 9-square format for my self-portraits. As you view the work, the colors and shadows vibrate next to each other but move as one, like a mantra that keeps your mind focused during meditation. My work is printed as posters because I like the lightness and fragility of paper free from the bulk, weight, and cost of glass and frame. However, I do offer works on stretched canvas on my website for people who want more durable pieces. Because of the higher cost, I will be donating prints on photo paper posters. They are large and quite sturdy, protected with an anti-UV light coating. I'd like to help people see through the veil of ignorance that emphasizes our tribal, and "racial" differences. We need to stand together to heal ourselves and the planet. I believe that understanding our divine nature is an important first step to fight racism and hatred. My art promotes oneness because although we are many tribes, we one people.
Donated By Angela Anela Cantrell