Ella Maria Ray

As I consider creativity, intellectuality and Africanity's interconnection, I find fired-clay, storytelling and anthropology fortifying. Consequently, when I grapple with data addressing the cultural and historic fabric of humanity, my mind translates ethnographic analysis into visual and performing art.

Clay is a compelling analytical tool because, when my hands touch it, Spirit, my ancestors, my muse, and my life experiences insist that I look beyond the world's visible boundaries. The Unseen demands I question not only what I see and its meaning, but how I view myself in relation to others. My muse nudges me to delve into continental and diasporic African cultural aesthetics to witness the complex vision humanity creates for itself, particularly as we move deeper into the twenty-first century. My work challenges viewers to "read" in each piece a narrative rooted in Africana aesthetics, and to dismantle any boundary that segregates imagination from rigorous analysis.

As an artist/anthropologist, I create work that celebrate and embrace viewer’s inherent magnificence, while listening to stories that insist on being told.