In Paradise perchance the eye may stray
from gazing upon everlasting Day
to see the day illumined, and renew
from mirrored truth the likeness of the True.
Mythopoeia by J.R.R Tolkien
I Remember Paradise is one of three pieces by Lakwena in Women on the Walls, curated by Jeffrey Deitch in collaboration with the Goldmans for the Wynwood Walls. The exhibition celebrates women artists who are a part of the history and the new energy of street art. Amongst Lakwena are the likes of Fafi, Miss Van, Maya Hayuk and the OG, Lady Pink. I met Lakwena this weekend for a quick chat about the piece, which quickly became one of my favorite walls.
Natology (N): I love the way your hands look with gold-glitter nail polish and paint all over them.
Lakwena (L): I’ve been keeping my hands clean for a while, but hopefully it will come off...
N: Anyway! Tell me about your wall, I remember Paradise. What’s the story behind it?
L: I’ve been thinking of this idea of paradise and reading a lot of stuff by C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. They had this idea that myths carry messages that are true. For example, fairytales carry the idea of living happily ever after and the reason for that is because we have a sense in us that there is a happily ever after.
N: Right. So, there’s an understanding within us that we can’t exactly pinpoint into logic or words, but recognize it?
L: That's what this is about. I think it was Tolkien that suggests there are echoes of paradise all around us and so, when we look at a beautiful sunset and get that feeling, you notice that thing that’s indescribable, that’s never quite explained and is never quite fulfilled...or at least in this life. Everything is slightly tainted, nothing is what you think it’s going to be but it points to something more. That’s what this is about, the paradise.
N: What about the paradise?
L: I believe there was a paradise and there will be again, and perhaps there is, but for now I just see echoes of it. By writing this, I’m saying, I Remember Paradise. It’s not here but I can see it reflected around me. It’s kind of encouraging, that there’s something more to this.
N: It reminds me of being present. Paradise is all around us, and we have moments of paradise all the time, but without our presence we lose its value and it gets lost in the little things; the worries and preoccupations carry the underlying element of dissatisfaction.
LET'S REMEMBER PARADISE