A New Way of Working
The Conference of the Birds Collection is highly personal and was conceived in the other realm, the divine realm, beyond space and time.
After the passing of my mother, I looked around for her constantly. I knew of all the journeys she took in this lifetime, and so for her to be on an adventure that I knew nothing about was confounding.
Then one day, about two weeks after she passed, I had fallen asleep, and as I was waking, between this world and the other, I heard the words that my mother had written in her book several years before. It was the Invocation to her book, Conference of the Birds. The words were:
Lightly winging between the deep realms where spirit and self converge.
And as I heard the words, I simultaneously felt her with me. And, I felt her within me. Her and I were intertwined as one.
And then I realized I cannot find her in this world. I must go to where she is. She is in the beyond realm not bound by time or space. And it is here in this divine sacred realm that I find her, and it is here where Blumera is created from.
The first wood carved collection was designed six months after my mother passed. I had gone to see my dear friend Uzo Aduba in a play in London, and while there I visited the fabulous posh department store Fortnum and Mason (complete with the Royal Seal as it is where the Queen of England shops). Fortnum and Mason had just sold out of the collection I had made for them (the crystal Elizabeth Jewel Collections) and the buyer was asking what I could make for them next.
Inspiration struck, and I told her, that I was inspired to make a wood carved clutch like the wood carved doors in Bali. She loved the idea, and asked me how soon I could get them to her. Two months later I was in Bali, on an adventure to create this new collection.
Though there are 1000s of wood carvers in Bali, and I met with many of them, it wasn't wasn’t until I met the Balinese Priest and artist, Pak Mangku, that I felt satisfied to begin the work. As we began the carving process, I felt immense pressure to get the brushstrokes of my mother's lines precisely expressed through the carving. For hours, I sat with Pak Mangku studying, communicating, and detailing each of her lines, whether the petal sloped up or down, and crafting each selection of the painting that I wanted to bring to life. There were questions of how to do this or how to do that, and I called out to my mom for help. So many times, I was beside myself not knowing what to do. But then in higher inspired moments, I remembered that I found my mom in the other realm, and my answers would be found there too.
And so the creations began.
In 2018, I began working on the Conference of the Birds Wood Carved Collection, which utilized the same principles, but instead used my mom’s Conference of the Bird painting. I then further expanded the collection into brass and created the Conference of the Bird Carved Brass Collection.