Acrylic on Panel, 24″ x 36″, 2023
This piece was inspired by my experience in New Orleans in the spring of 2022. I had the most incredible opportunity to design a mural for a levee in the French Quarter, which was then executed by Louisiana artist JoLean Barkley. The mural project was put together by the Consulate General of Canada, the Office of New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, and the Arts Council of New Orleans. I was flown out to the Big Easy last year by Canadian Consulate for the unveiling of the mural. I saw gators in the swamp! In fact, it was the same bayou that inspired the artwork for Princess and the Frog which is one of my favourite Disney films. The alligator’s reflection is of Indigenous design, a call to the mural itself, all surrounded in the flora of a Louisiana swamp and framed in an oyster shell. I will never forget my first experience eating oysters (I haven’t had a good once since) with my mother, Noella De Maina – Consul, Foreign Policy and Public Affairs and Consul General of Canada, Dr. Rachel McCormick who also was the one who suggested I paint something inspired by my experience and told me to try a Sazerac with that.