Reaching for Grandma Lillah

A seed by: Mosa McNeilly
Project: Main Pool
I see my work as part of a canon of Black women artists, scholars, and activists, concerned with social justice, cultural reclamation, and freedom. In my interdisciplinary research, I bring encaustic, assemblage, and installation into conversation with clown, movement, and voice. Reflective of a creative practice that merges with ceremonial practice, my work brings about an integration of the material with the ethereal. In my Middle Passage memory work, I reimagine the poetics of memorialization. Grounded in the reparative labour of gathering and assembling, my work contemplates fragmentation while gesturing toward wholeness. Employing hybrid Yoruba, Adinkra, and Vodou iconographies, I perform activations of my current installation work, Bones | Meditations on Middle Passage Memory, and invite Black community members to participate, exploring what I call a collective, embodied, mourning praxis. As an arts educator, I have developed a pedagogy that seeks to foster African cultural literacy, cultivate Black agency, and nurture Black self-love. As an initiated sacred leader, I curate spaces for Black healing, participate in ceremony, and mentor Black youth. As an editor, I work with authors of the African diaspora, engaging their work through a decolonial, feminist lens.


Visual Arts, Theatre, Interdisciplinary Arts, Dance, Arts for Social Change, Film/Video, Literature
This is an original seed

Description: In the performance, an image of my father crossfades slowly into the image of his mom, my Grandma Lillah, and I, as the performer, reach for her as her image drifts downward across the scrim toward me.

Grandma Lillah, were you in Grandpa Clement’s arms when you transitioned? Did you have someone to hold you when you died? Is that why I dreamed of Daddy falling into my arms as he transitioned?

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