Interstellar Prismatic Compass
Artist: Mahlikah The Moonrise Poet
This creation Interstellar Prismatic Compass pays homage to my Intergenerational Afro-Indigenous Black Loyalist Roots, which draw upon traditional & contemporary patterns and symbols in African Nova Scotian quilt making practice which for generations have held the Freedom Codes, Ancestral Lineages, Communal Stories of a People, and the Compass which calls us home. In this piece I am sharing patterns and symbols of: Flying Geese, North Star Underground, as well as the Akan Adinkra Ananse Ntontan (Spider Web), and a series of dulse (duhls) seaweed symbols.
The piece acknowledges how colonial acts of forced displacement were thwarted time and time again because of our deep connection to source, which guided our innate sense of direction to get to where we needed to be in order to reclaim our freedom in relationship to seasonal cycles and divine celestial timing.
There are 8 sets of Flying Geese patterns which represent the four seasonal transitions and how our ancestors would follow the direction of the geese when they began migrating North in the Springtime. Repetitions of Ananse Ntontan (Spider Web) to honour how our blood memory was interwoven in our oral stories, stories that cultivated collective webs of resistance along our liberation journeys. The North Star Underground is a symbol of the abolition movement of finding freedom in Kanata, or what we now know as Canada. Polaris, known as the North Star, sits more or less directly above Earth’s north pole along our planet’s rotational axis. As the Earth turns, every other star seems to spin around the axis, tracing out a circle in the sky, but the North Star appears to stand still. Finding the North Star gave our ancestors purpose, and kept them envisioning revolutionary dreams for the generations to come. Finally the Deluse Seaweed is a reminder that freedom is a journey not a destination, the land that was promised to us was intentionally not the most fertile, we would need to return to the sea which was saturated with our rage and sorrows for the nourishment and healing we needed to survive.
About the Artist
Mahlikah The Moonrise Poet
Nationally recognized and award-winning, Canadian Festival of Spoken Word Poet of Honour and Distinction Recipient and TEDTalk Speaker, Mahlikah The Moonrise Poet; moonrises wellsprings of revolution, rest and resistance within liminal space, who is cultivating social change through spoken word, arts education, performance art, futurist writing, digital art, mindfulness, and the mysticism of cosmology and star divination Hoo Doo healing practices. Mahlikah is the content creator for Moonrise Magic and 11:11 Cosmic Love. Mahlikah is the Director of Programming for Neighbourhood Impact at the Centre of Learning & Development, in Regent Park, Art Educator and Wellness Ambassador with The Art Gallery Of Ontario, Faculty Member for the Wildseed Centre of Art & Activism, Performer and Speaker for the Dance Immersion's Connectively Moving Our Dance International Conference, Interviewer for the Black Diasporas Tkaronto Storytelling Digital Mapping Project, Decolonizing Circle Facilitator for the 2023 FAC International Arts Residency, and a 2022 Institute for Radical Permission Fellow led by transformative justice thought leaders Sonya Renee Taylor and Adrienne Maree Brown. Mahlikah’s Poetry can most recently be found as part of CBC Arts Poetic License Series, Hush Harbour Press’s and Room Magazine’s Speech Sounds Episode One: The Art of Listening: Spoken Word’s Black Origins, among others. Mahlikah is based in Tkarón:to, which has been stewarded by the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, and Wendat confederacies, and is Michi Saagig Nishnawbe territory, which is also governed by Treaty 13, between the Mississauga of the Credit and the Canadian government.