Medium:Satin, Beads and Shells
Note: Mounted on a board.
Small seed beads sewn onto a green silk fabric. Image is of a pair of hugging mermaids, one woman one man. Around them are more beads and shells creating and "under the water" background.
In 2018, GVSU Geology Professor Peter Wampler and Honors College Assistant Professor Ellen Adams led a study abroad program to Haiti. The program was designed to allow students to experience Haitian culture and gain an understanding of daily life in rural Haiti through service learning. The group began to call themselves “Wandering Seeds,” a name that also became the title of an exhibition with the GVSU Art Gallery. Highlighting artwork purchased from Haitian artists on their trip, the exhibition also included personal stories and photographs from their journey.
This flag was made by Jean Baptiste Jean Joseph, an artist whom the GVSU students and faculty spent time with in his studio at Port-au-Prince’s Marche de Fer, or Iron Market. To create these adorned works, Jean Joseph guides a needle through the back of the fabric and up through each individual bead, sequin or shell. His works are not premeditated, and he never creates the same flag twice. His designs come from divine inspiration and his knowledge of the iconography of Vodou Iwa. Each flag is dedicated to a specific Iwa, or Vodou spirit, and incorporates the colors and symbols of that spirit. This flag represents la Siréne, a mermaid from Haitian Vodou and, Marasa, or the sacred twins.