“Dos Dioses de la Electricidad,” 2018. Mural in Akumal, Mexico as part of the 2018 Akumal Arts Festival and Residency.
This weekend marks the inaugural Akumal Arts Festival (11/9-11) and the energy here is just incredible. 80+ muralists have traveled from all over the world to paint the pueblo. With such excitement all around, there was no way that I could hide in my electronics studio… and so I have joined the merriment and painted my very first outdoor mural (!) on Akumal’s Delegacion building, aka the police station. I witnessed two people be temporarily incarcerated while I was painting (for public drunkenness)… washing my brushes next to them was a socially awkward and lifetime memory for sure.
My mural spans two walls joined by a corner, so I painted the two gods of electricity in dialogue: K’awiil, the Mayan God of lightning and a modern God of electricity. In front of the murals there is a concrete pillar for electricity, so we are painting the date there in Mayan Long Calendar format (Nov 9 2018). A colleague was kind enough to translate my first name into Mayan, so I signed the K’awiil side with my hieroglyphic “Ix-Ke-li-i,” where the “Ix” is pronounced “ish” and indicates that I am female. Note that the blue and green border beneath the Gods is perforated with cenotes, the holes in the earth that grant access to the world's largest river (entirely underground and spanning hundreds of miles across the Yucatan peninsula).
The pile of sand in front of my mural has been there since the very beginning — I didn’t put it there and while many promises of removal were made, it remains. I think it was placed there to be my petty tyrant for the duration of mural painting and I’ve come to quite like it in a weird sort of way. Either that, or painting for days next to a jail cell in the Mexican heat has made me a little bit crazy ;-)