The Spirit of N'Awlinz

Spirit of Nawlinz

Commissioned by Lululemon Athletica for new store in New Orleans    November 2012

I am honoured to offer this creation I call, with all respect and affection, The Spirit of N'Awlinz, as tribute to the city of New Orleans, in memory of the time I rolled in as the Imaginary Canadian for the First Annual New Orleans Art Car Parade. Magazine Street. April 1997. Shotgun shacks with backyard chicken and goats mingling constant barbeque neighbourhood good-time get-togethers our host, Julian, a long, lean, lagniappe of a Louisiana man with full length serpent tattoo, drove the Skull Truck and built Mardi Gras floats for a living, touring us through the spooky warehouses, describing the time he rode one in a Mardi Gras parade, saying, he felt like a God up there above the surging crowd's roar.

French Quarter. Jazz Festival parade. Kermit Ruffins blows his horn from car ahead as patrons leap laughing from chairs and wrought-iron balconies draped in lace I seem to remember as the costumed cars wheel through this city where they truly belong. Allen Toussaint. Dr. John. Echoes of Professor Longhair long into the moist magnolia laden night, Laissez les bon temps roulez, while next door, silent Elle makes her Voudon dolls she sells downtown in the museum where she works in the French Quarter, she is a tall dark priestess practicing her art with wall-throubbing heart-quaking rock-n-roll soundtrack I buy two dolls: Brigit and Baron Samedi who have travelled through those years to watch over my work in the studio while I remember that time back then when my blood changed and my dreams were ignited in the City of New Orleans, the City of Dreams...