Artist’s Diary — Zora Mann
maggio 15, 2015
Born from African parents, she grew up traveling in Europe, Africa and America. After relocating in Germany, at age 13, she started a modeling career which continued successfully for many years, when she decided to quit with the fashion business and study art. All the artworks presented in the exhibition show different aspects of her past: tribal art, African decorations, intuitive abstract patterns, subconscious and dreamy-like images, colorful motives, ornamentals models.
In this painting I did during my studies at the Villa Arson in Nice, I am dreaming about painting.
When I did this painting I was working on a series of flags for female superheroes and I thought that Coagula was one. Much later I realised that she was a tranvestite superhero. In Latin Coagula also means to connect.
In kenya flipflops litter the shores and pose a real envrionmental problem. A Marine biologist named Julie Curch had the idea to use these as raw materlial to make into jewlery, bags, curtains and sculptures. I worked for her a long time ago as a volunteer. This was an amazing experience for me at that time. I stayed on the island Manda and worked with several women. With little means, these women created beautiful objects out of these old flipflops. Their enjoyment of life was uplifting. The picture above shows work in progress, on a curtain I made for my show, using beads that they made out old flipflops.
While I was working on the show, my Grandfather passed away. This photo of his grave, taken just after the funeral moves me deeply. He prepared himself to go for many years and showed real courage in this last phase of his life. His daughter Bella wove a shroud for him, his nephew Crian made him an open coffin and on his grave a tree grows.
For the last six months I have been working on watercolours in a much more unpredicted manner than on my canvases. Working with many diferent elements and with less symmetry. This motivated me to structure the wallpainting in the same way.
The shield is a symbol of protection. This one I made to my body measurements.
The photographer Mark Borthwick took this photo of me years ago.
These are the hands of my grandmother Erika.
She made this ring that gave me the idea to make the shields.
While I worked on the wall, I kept looking at this painting «Negro Attacked by a Jaguar» by Henri Rousseau. The way the light flowers comes out of the dark green folliage was an inspiration to me.
I started with this sketch.
And here are some details of the wallpainting «Who are the Dolphins ?»
Are dolphins really aliens?
I’m wondering, will aliens get us out of the mess we are in? This is an image from a coloring book I did for kids.