Amanacer reminds us just as the mermaid can travel through endless waters, we have the ability to become more than what we see.
It’s not the form, but rather the expression that creates solutions. The parts that makeup who we are have an important role in the story we create for ourselves and one another. Emily Amanacer Bauman is a goddess who paints her dreams into reality. During a recent trip to Brooklyn, for her first art show in New York, we got the chance to discuss boundless bridges between mermaid essence and identity. Growing up as a Canadian-Haitian,
Channeling the Mermaid Essence and Minority Upbringing
Amanacer begins, “Mermaids, for me, are global. The mermaid, for me, is the symbolic representation of the feminine, the divine feminine, and the way that each woman in the world reacts to mermaids is so interesting to me. Whether it’s the most rural area in Haiti, we talk about mermaids in like Jacmel, or if we come to a very urban space like Brooklyn, I find that women and men always have interesting conversations about mermaids, about what it means, the symbol, how it makes them feel.”
Amancer’s upbringing blends the northern Anglo-culture of Canada with the island vibes of Haiti. Although the Canadian identity is a minority amongst the Haitian culture, Amanacer extends gratitude to her parents for a challenging yet fruitful experience. Spending days with neighborhood friends consisted of playing soccer on the lively streets and basketball on the corners. Learning the language came with ease and her art still serves as a vehicle that brings two worlds together to form her own, transcend current reality, and encourage others to do the same.
“A lot of my art is about finding who I am as a blend of different cultural influences and at the same time, creating a third culture for myself out of the two so I have something that’s totally my own. I think art has been the biggest tool. It’s been the refuge. It’s been an inlet and an outlet. It’s been so many… It’s been a gift for me the same way that Haiti is my muse, but knowing I also bring that northern sense of the Canadian as well—my roots. I’m just very fortunate to have a complicated story that I get to unravel in my art,” Amanacer shares.
Embracing Boundless Seas
From a visual perspective, Amanacer is a minority in Haiti. However, her background has allowed her to see and understand other minorities on a deeper level. These themes heavily influence her work and the overall vision she shares with the world.
“If you picture a mermaid flowing freely in the ocean, you get this sense that she can go anywhere, she doesn’t need a passport. No one is going to ask her, ‘Hey are you Canadian? Are you American? Are you American-Haitian?’ There’s no sense of boundaries and there’s that limitlessness. I absolutely love that feeling… A mermaid, for me, is that essence of belonging in yourself, belonging in nature, and then being able to connect to a very sensual and very powerful sense of the feminine…”
Aside from the mermaid essence portrayed, there are other symbols at play such as the handheld mirror.
“She’s reflecting ourselves back to us—I am wonderful. I deserve to be adored. I love myself and all the other creatures should adore me.”
In a way, this famous symbol serves as a portal to the inner world. What we see in this mirror has the power to influence the way we see ourselves, others, and the external world. The true embodiment of the mermaid knows she deserves the best. She sees the best within herself and in turn, the best is reflected back to her.
Power Within a Name
Whether you know it or not, the meaning behind our name has the potential to dictate the journey we embark on. In Amanacer’s case, she found fuel in its meaning—the soul that loves to be reborn.
“The intention behind
“The people who want to be a rockstar… they can look at the profiles of the people wearing
Amanacer believes there is no right or wrong way to live. There is no set boundary.
“You can do it all. You don’t have to choose one path. You don’t have to choose a very serious career or a professional art career. I feel so strongly that we can do it all. I just hope that my example, and every time I get to share my story, people are like that’s kind of weird, ok cool!”
Get inspired by Amanacer’s art and keep up with her work at https://www.amanacer.ca