I was invited to paint a mural at the Akumal Arts Festival in the Yucatan region of Mexico. This mural was inspired by Cenotes and how Mexicans stare death in the face, unlike where I'm from where we pretend it doesn't exist.

Cenotes are limestone sinkholes, often underground. They are dark caverns, where you can escape the 40oc heat by swimming in the dark turquoise water full of black catfish. Mayans believe that these cenotes were links to the underworld, and use to sacrifice people in them. As you swim in them wondering what is below you, bats fly over head, nesting amongst the stalagtites. Mayans believed bats had eyes at the end of their wings with which they could see death.

The bats are flying towards the Mexican marigold, which is used in the Day of the Dead celebration. The pungent smell and bright orange flower is thought to guide the spirit of deased loved ones to their shrines. The colourful stripes are from the traditional Mexican shawls, known as serapes.

Big thanks to @akumalartsfestival and @klonism for organising such a brilliant art festival, and the artists @zenor.2061, @pawski_h2i, @seca_one, @nomad.clan, @jimvision and @qubekmanchester. See more in the link below.

The Walls of Akumal: A Bridge to Possibilities
Arriving back in NYC after a week of art and culture in Akumal, Mexico, we are overwhelmed by the beauty that was created, the smiles that were shared, and the community that was enlivened by all the efforts of the Akumal Arts Festival. It truly took a village to create such a positive space of loveā€¦