As a child, I was fascinated by the spaces my mother and grandmother kept in their homes for worshiping deities and honoring ancestors. Altares explore private forms of devotion through the creation of personal altars. I am greatly inspired by the indirect experience of how we learn about spirituality in Latin-American households. Private altars were my first encounter with a form of spirituality that felt approachable; spaces full of power and mystery I could be in close contact with. The items on these altars come from accessible places like dollar stores, food markets, nature as well as religious shops called Botanicas.
These altars I've created are dedicated to the female Orishas (goddess’ in Yoruba language) that reign in Regla de la Ocha aka Santeria. I was drawn to this Afro-Caribbean religion practiced in my family and community in my adolescent years because it presented different roles in which divine women operated. Santeria offers women divine female figures through which they may gain full self-awareness, discover self-love and create a powerful gender identity freed from patriarchal submission.