In 2014, during a trip to Scottsdale Arizona, Cynthia became mesmerized with Native American folklore. She was inspired by the way they preserved their heritage through artwork especially their beadwork.
Soon after returning home, she felt compelled to create art that would pay homage to her West African ancestors. Cynthia describes her jewelry and beadwork as Wearable and Fine Art. Her journey began one bead at a time, dropping them and picking them up. Creating patterns and designs, discovering mysterious colors and shapes, even before she knew or understood the countries of origin which often led back to her Igbo ancestors.
Inner Journey is Cynthia’s Sankofa. The Sculptures are wrapped in vibrant colors and textures. She incorporates a variety of materials that are reminiscent of symbols in African cultures.
Cynthia’s interest in African and Indigenous art spans her lifetime. She has traveled throughout the country and beyond visiting museums and art galleries. During this time, she did not recall seeing any exhibits that featured the juxtaposition of beautifully embellished Africans who were also wearing slave shackles.
African ancestors enhanced themselves with items that came from the earth and sea that brought meaning and or stature to their being. Cynthia felt compelled to create images that would question the audiences’ thoughts of who enslaved Africans were and how they lived. She tells the ancestors' stories through her beadwork and photography.
Cynthia photographs her models wearing beautifully beaded African inspired clothing and jewelry that she creates. The shackles represent the cruelty of slavery, pain, sorrow, fear, anguish, and degradation. She also photographs her models adorned with regal headdresses, beaded corsets and warrior spears representing the reclamation of Spirit.
Landscapes in and around the United States were selected due to travel restrictions as backdrops because they best resembled Africa’s coastal plains, wooded savannas, and the deserts with its high mountains.
Cynthia invites you to take a closer look at everything and ask yourself what I am really seeing and feeling. Her personal mission is to uplift, create, entertain, and deliver.