Amitabh Sharma, Contributor
Feea, Daughter of Zion, is a free spirit, one with the elements, talking to nature - the trees and the birds and connecting to the cosmic energy with her mortal soul.
"My work is the act of God," this intuitive artist says. "My fingers move automatically, they don't have any definitive theme they are working on."
Her art is an eclectic mix of lines and circles, entwined as if a forest with faces emerging on what could be perceived as leaves or branches. Flipping through Feea's paintings, one sees a familiar pattern, but they tell a different story.
"No two (paintings) are ever the same. If you ask me what it is all about, it is impossible for me to tell you what it is all about."
A free spirit, Feea says she is not bound by the medium she uses to express her emotions. "I use pencil, I use charcoal, I use anything that can draw," she says. "You just pick up what you want to do without thinking what colour you want to take on.
"When you finish and you turn it around you see faces, and sometimes it takes days before you see the faces.
"The faces," she elaborates, "signify that spirituality is on earth now."
Feea has never put her work - drawing, paintings and ceramics - for sale, though she has won accolades in Jamaica, United States and Europe.
"I have never sold any of my work. The British Museum gave me something, which I used for a youth club but I didn't put a price on it," the artist says.
Feea is a very strong proponent of learning and discovering the Black culture and the way of life, which she says, is the solutions to all the problems that Jamaica is facing. "We need to be proud of ourselves. We, whether here or in Africa, are doing bleaching and all those things because we don't want to be black. The reason is that we don't know enough about ourselves.
"It is important to know who we are and where we come from," she says. "To get to know our roots, we cannot look from the eyes of the others, we have to rediscover ourselves.
"We don't have to follow those who have enslaved, abused and accused us. We need laws of our own. We need to respect other people's cultures as much as they are respecting ours."
This, she says, can be attained by connecting the nature and by acknowledging the blessings that have been bestowed on Jamaica. "Do you know how blessed we are in this land? But we cannot afford to lose that blessing; we need to rise.
"I know there is a creating force out there whether we say Jah, God, Allah, Jehovah ... it makes no difference."
Feea writes poems and worked with the reggae band Third World. But even with credentials such as these, she prefers to stay away from the limelight, and even refused to get her photograph taken.
"I have been working silently; I don't want to praise myself," she says. "I want the work to come out now.
"I am not a label," she adds. "When you are a label you are selling a product, I am not selling anything."
A trained nurse working in a hospital in London, Daughter of Zion says she got a spiritual awakening which made her gravitate towards the arts. She says she started off by scratching on paper till she realised that images were coming out. This was almost 40 years ago, and she has evolved into being a 'free spirit' converging with nature.
"The faces, when I started painting, were obscure, now they can be defined," Feea says.
Guided by the spirit
She says she is guided by a spiritual energy, which dictates to her what she must do, how she must do it and when she must do it. "At this point in time, I am seeking peace for the world and that's the picture I am painting," Daughter of Zion says.
Through her paintings, mysticism and relentless work, she wants the young people to benefit. "Let them be aware of who they are and their capabilities - I have something which I call activate, motivate and stimulate.
"Art is one of the most sacred things," she adds. "My work is futuristic, very few will understand it but the children, and they will be guided through my art form."
Peaceful coexistence, she says, is that vital ingredient that can make this world a better place. "I am for the awakening of the people and saying to them, 'come on people, stop killing each other'," Feea says.
"We need to respect each other, no matter what race or colour we are, just show some respect," the artist says, capturing her emotions in the lines of her poem 'Peace'.
"Oh, oh, oh, Nations of the World,
Wherever you are,
Whatever colour, creed or race,
Religious indifference, come on, listen,
The birds are singing,
The new song of the time,
Peace to the World,
Peace to the World."
Photos by Amitabh Sharma