Sirens: Looking for Intimacy

Sirens have been a theme in my work for well over three years. In this case, a mirror will be incorporated in the piece where the observer can connect to a particular siren labeled in gold. The equations on the glass of the frame signify the attraction of the unique siren — thus incorporating the frame glass as another medium in the artwork itself.

In 1959 on a visit to Liberia, the author visited the interior Grabo village of Nee Poo. While staying in the village he had the pleasure of being the guest of honor at an evening dance event. The event was held in the large open air structure located in the center of the village. Members of nearby villages were invited to attend. Invitations were sent by village drum (electronic devices were not yet available). He was given the place of honor on a raised platform along with the chief of the village, his two wives and a daughter. As the group gathered in the open structure, women with decorated faces gathered in the crowd and in the shadows. Decoration consisted of white kaolinite clay circles around one eye, white slashes on their forehead and cheeks and white outlines of the lips (similar to body decorations found at cocktail parties at home). The dance was a circular dance with drumming and rattling by a single musician in the center. A connection was made between the hearing of drums, the rhythm, and the interpretation by the primal mind that said dance. He joined the group during one of the dances. During the dance, women would come up to him and with a cloth wipe the perspiration from his forehead. He was not sure if it was an act of kindness or his perspiration carried a spiritual connotation. He found himself in communication with five senses, sight, touch, hearing, smelling and the mind. Most readers have had similar experiences.

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