The character in the paintings who represents me is a manifestation of Mahasona Yakka or the great graveyard demon. According to legend, Mahasona was a warrior named Jayasena whose head was replaced by a black bear after a battle that didn’t end well.
For me, the visual of Mahasona came to represent the personal demons we all have, the insecurities, the self-doubts, and the darkness that weighs so heavily in our lives, even if it’s in our minds. I think part of the reason why these exorcism rituals work is that the demons are treated as real, not simply metaphorical. In this way, I paint them as visible beings as well, because I am giving creations of the mind just as much validity as things that have matter and form. From the lyrics of Fiona Apple which gave me goosebumps as a teenager: “He said it’s all in your head, And I said so’s everything, but he didn’t get it.”