PODCAST EPISODE #1 INTUITION [TRANSCRIPT]
The following is a transcript of Manifestations of Yaya Episode#1 on Intuition feel free to listen to the audio here
Hello, welcome to Manifestations of Yaya. I'm your host Kenyatta A.C Hinkle, also known as Olomidara Yaya. Thank you so much for joining us for our very first episode of this entire endeavor. I'm so excited to have you here, and to have you tuning into this ongoing project of mine. I've been wanting to do this project for a very very long time, and obviously it took for COVID-19 to transpire and for us all to be kind of shuttered away into our own sanctuaries, or bunkers, or whatever you're calling where you find yourself these days, and it is a powerful time. It’s a powerful time to experience awakenings on so many different levels.
About a year, two years ago I started this endeavor called Manifestations of Yaya in which I wanted to create a healing initiative for helping creatives to become catalysts within their own healing. So often as artists, creatives, and people who work in the creative sector, we're so used to putting on productions and doing all of these exhibitions and things for the public, and... you know, for targeted communities and audiences and all of these things, but so often we find ourselves kind of stuck and not really knowing which directions to take, or perhaps feeling empty after an exhibition comes down, or there's just so many different ways that we're kind of taught to cater to everybody else's needs and dynamics and the kind of healing that needs to transpire within our communities or within the canon, tackling colonialism and hegemony and the patriarchy and all of these various factors of dis/ease within our society, often times we kind of forget about the healing that we also need to do for ourselves. One of my favorite conversations with an amazing healer is that “our resources and our energy reserves are not unlimited”, and I quickly started realizing that there's so much that isn't taught to us in art school about healing methodologies that we need to utilize and how we need to take care of ourselves as creators and people who love creators.
I recorded so many different versions of this first episode because, to be honest, I really don't know where to start. There is so much that I want to talk about, there is so much that I want to continue to share with you all in this journey. There was so much that I kept bringing up into my head to prevent me from launching this project. Thoughts like nobody's going to care and nobody is going to listen, you're going to sound like this hooky kooky healer ghost lady. What does this have to do with the art world? What does this have to do with the healing world? What does this have to do with anything? You know how those voices...bless their hearts, they want to keep us safe, but they also want to keep us limited. So I have so many facets and ideas that I want to offer to listeners, and to people who tune in to Manifestations of Yaya (podcast), and I'm just really thrilled and excited to offer this first episode. Today I want to talk to you about using your intuition. Using your intuition has been a major component of my art practice. I am an interdisciplinary artist, which means that I love to work in various mediums. So often people ask me, “Well, what's your favorite medium?” and I never have an answer to that question because, I write, I dance, I draw, I perform, I cook, I sing, I— whatever the artwork needs to bring it into being—that's what I do. That's what I like to do. Each piece is different, each body of work is different, yet everything is connected. And a lot of the times in my everyday life I'm constantly tuning in to my intuition.
How does my body feel when I pick up this book? When I read this text? When I look at this video? When I stumble across this song? How do I feel? What's the energy that is surrounding it? What happens if I shift my perspective, and look at this tree that is calling out to me over here?
I'm always kind of taking in the environment and sometimes a little bit too much. I've had to learn how to create boundaries with that to kind of contain, you know the energies that are going on constantly, but using my intuition has taken me really far within my practice and it has become a medium of choice within itself. Actually, if I did have to answer that question I would say that intuition is my favorite medium. When I was in art school, using your intuition was a very negative thing. It was seen as this cop out in which you really didn't have the language and tools to be able to describe your artwork, and what you're doing, and what it's about, and how to use the critical theory to demonstrate your learning to your professors or the upper echelon people of the art world. What I quickly started to realize was “wow this is extremely hegemonic” there are so many different cultures and disciplines all over the world that make work only through intuition, they make work that's in communion with the materials that they're using, with nature, with their environments, with their community, and through colonialism those items were looted and put on pedestals and discerned as like this is high art or this is inspiration for high art and modernism and in all of those things that have you in terms of our relationship to colonialism and loot and then how those became markers for beauty or exoticism. I really started thinking about that, what does that mean for me to be in tune with my intuition and to use these practices that are blatantly considered to be taboo in a lot of senses, or dismissed as this is something that's just regulated to the femme aspect of being, a woman's gut, gut instincts, you can't make a work on feeling or – mind you, okay okay, I'm also going to say that there are some artists who only want to talk about intuition and feeling and “I just got inspired with this spark and it just hit”, they don't have the ability to use language outside of that, and I can see how that can be problematic too, but I like to engage with both worlds and both aspects of it. A lot of times when I'm preparing for an exhibition I don't know what the work is going to look like. I don't know what is going to transpire in the space whatsoever. I just know what I want the exhibition to feel like. I know what I want to feel when I'm creating the work and I know what I want the audience to feel when they're witnessing it. Sometimes it's about grieving, sometimes it's about joy, sometimes it's about conflicted emotions or feelings, and our relationship to history. What does it mean to witness the people in the photograph? What does it mean to witness the objects in this space? What kind of energies do I want them to give off? and then I go off of that.
So often all of the coincidences that aren't really coincidences coalesce, and I just give myself permission to go with the flow and to really become a channel of the work, and I let the work create itself with my intuition.
So often I'm not able to even unpack the work until weeks later, until months later, years later, sometimes a decade later, and I think that that's such a powerful component to what it means to be a creator...what it means to be on this journey, what it means to be open, to be a channel, to let the work actually guide you. Oftentimes we are taught, especially within the Western world, that we have to know everything. We have to know exactly what the work is going to be about, what it's going to look like, we have to be able to form all of these critical dialogues, and to master the tools... to master the techniques. Even the term “master”. I'm from the South, I'm from Kentucky, and that makes me shudder all the time. Even when I'm in meetings or talking with others and I'm like “okay we need to make a master document” that jus