Susan Mains

Finding the intangible is what makes art universal – that sound of the whip cutting the air, the jingle of the bells, the flash of the many mirrors. My practice has been one of taking the viewer from the known to the unknown, and this series is no different. The goodness of the Caribbean goes beyond race, language, creed. It is found in that undefinable synthesis of acceptance and tolerance. What looks like a battle, is actually a game, an intuitive performance that always ends with a pot of food cooked over an open fire. Brave!

My practice has been primarily in figurative painting. Education is meant to take someone from the known to the unknown, and the human figure is one of the most recognizable forms, and easiest to identify. The character of the Shakespeare Mas tells his story with costume, gesture, bravado, and the stomping of feet. The visible is easy to define; what is invisible is that which I try to communicate. The ritual, the learning, the knowing, the intangible of that unique culture synthesized from Africa, Europe, and India that compels us to consider the complexity of the Caribbean we live in. There are no easy answers, but at the end of the day, the people of many languages, races, and religions all get along together. It is a shining example of peace to the rest of the world.