I created this Sacred Space, to be a specific historical memorial in this location as well as to reflect and embody my personal philosophies about art, how it can be used interactively and my profound interest in the conservation, preservation and transformation of our environment.
Photo by Roland Rose
Thus, the Sacred Space was born out of my deep-seated respect for the sanctity and significance of our trees and forests. This particular site on the island of New Providence in The Bahamas, has many Casuarina trees which erode our shoreline. Instead of simply cutting them down and discarding them, I transformed them, where they are still rooted in the ground, into the beautiful ‘Sacred Women’ that you see, with the intention to mark the triumph of hope and determination to conserve our heritage over that which is discarded or destroyed in the name of progress.
This site is also of historical significance to us as these cliffs, bordering a former sugar plantation, were the landing site for some of the first African slaves to be brought here. These elegant carvings bend towards the ocean and to Africa. Their eyes delineate the space and the metal bells in the trees, fabricated by a fellow artist, Tyrone Ferguson, carry their voices back to Africa.
It was important to me to create within this space rather than bringing sculptures to it. This place, like others, has its own almost tangible energy and beauty to be discovered, uncovered and tapped into.
To me, Sacred implies not only spiritual inspiration and creative freedom but encompasses all those things that should be left intact to bear witness to the significance of our cultural heritage. It is my belief and my intention, given the opportunity, to continue to create Sacred Spaces not only throughout the islands of The Bahamas, but throughout the world where each site would dictate to me its own unique energy and guide my hands to define the form and shape that it should take.
Antonius Roberts, 2006