Alter Ego/Sugar Baby, acrylic on canvas/mixed media experimentation
It has become the event of the year and many gravitate from around the world to attend Carnival in the Caribbean depending on where it is at. Carnival has become a marketing product for tourism and to unify and solidify relationships within the Caribbean space and outside of the region. It has become the signature event of the emerging Caribbean Common Market unit. To sustain this claim government speech are sprinkled with parental advise to play mask, stay sober and do not misbehave.
However, the Vitalising tension of the Caribbean carnival results partly from vulgarity that opposes and even aspires to join so-called “civilized society,” according to author Milla Cozart Riggio, The Carnival Story.
The struggle has a complex dialectical duality to partly express the human need to resist authority, to “get on bad.” This energy operating in the carnival to “free up yourself” from discipline and legal constraints associated with local history. Riggio noted that even in the United States during the masquerade season of 2002, among the adult Halloween mask was that of Osama Bin Laden.
In the Caribbean many use the opportunity to free themselves and manifest their alter ego, becoming loosen and unafraid of their critic’s rhetorics. Some, from society, chose to place a blind eye to this manifestation and be more forgiven on Carnival day with respect to gender equality, religious and political affiliations.
In this unit, I have chosen to explore this narrative making paintings on canvas about the alter ego with a focus on gender transformation and to acknowledge the fact that women also worked in the sugarcane fields during colonialism and postcolonialism. Today women have become the leading characters in carnival events and the most featured alter ego as they break away from the constraints of their daily chores and free up themselves.