Zak Ové’s DP series of wall based knitted collages are an extension of his installation in the Grand Court of the British Museum in 2015 where a Moko Jumby’s head was fashioned from hand stitched doilies sourced online and in flea markets. Key figures in Trinidadian carnival since the beginning of the 20th Century, the Moko Jumbies are guardian sentinels and godlike seekers looking out for danger, mapping out the surroundings.
Ové works between sculpture, film, painting and photography, often collaging the various elements using found, cast and recovered materials. Interested in reinterpreting lost culture and mythology using modern and antique materials, he pays tribute to both spiritual and artistic African and Trinidadian identities which have been given new meanings through Trinidadian carnival and the cross cultural dispersion of ideas.
Of continual interest is the emancipation of personal existence through incarnation with an ‘other self’, showing us the power of play to free an individual from the contained experience of one’s identity. The creation of Doilies generally by older women is one such creative outlet utilized on a cultural scale by Trinidadians. Thought of by him as an expression of individuality but linked by a commonality Doily making is a hobby for many gifted amateurs who us them decoratively in the home and which were a sign from the fifties onwards of upwards social mobility. In addition to their decorative and creative craft based function doilies also act to protect furnishings from damage linking to the Moko Jumby role as protector.
Growing up with a Trinidadian father and Irish mother and living sporadically between the Trinidad and London, the Doilies have a nostalgic trigger for Ové.