The Endless forest
The Endless Forest" draws inspiration from a novella penned by Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola. Within this series, a diverse array of beings symbolizes distinct fears. Through the attribution of names and unique traits to these entities, the concept of fear undergoes a metamorphosis, turning these once daunting creatures into vibrant and affable beings.
Mary Maka's "Endless Forest" was inspired by the Nigerian writer Amos Tutuola. In Amos' stories, characters often wander through a forest inhabited by spirits and half-living creatures. Two years ago, Mary Maka started working on a short animated film based on a fragment of Tutuola's work. The film is a frightening and thrilling adventure set in a wonderful world, with unusual plants and different animals, some of which are half-animal, half-human, simultaneously fascinating and terrifying. Currently, the animation is still incomplete and a work in progress.
Mary Maka's art has always been closely intertwined with her love of nature and mythology. As she delved deeper into her project, a new idea emerged: the creation of a series of creatures, each representing a unique fear. She gave each one a name and a character and portrayed her world of fears, turning them into bright and friendly creatures. The artist explores the mythology of different countries and the ancestors' relationship to the forest. Hunters gave names to the phenomena and creatures that were most frightening. By giving them a name and endowing them with human qualities, the fear became less intense. Spirits that had names could now be allies and help in hunting and gathering. Through her art, Mary sought to bridge the gap between primitive fear and the modern world, which often ignored them. With her images she invites viewers to confront their own fears, where they no longer have power, but instead an interest in exploration and self-discovery.
Mary Maka specializes in digital art and incorporates grainy textures into her work deliberately. These textures serve to establish a unique ambiance and enhance the depth of her illustrations. Mary employs Adobe Illustrator for crafting shapes and utilizes Adobe Photoshop to integrate textures seamlessly. Her preferred tool for creating these illustrations is the Wacom Cintiq Pro 24.
The "Endless Forest" series was showcased at exhibitions and festivals, garnering numerous positive reviews. It was truly a remarkable experience. Throughout the project's research phase, I had the opportunity to delve into the mythologies of various countries while confronting and working through my own fears. It proved to be an exhilarating adventure.