Viva Los Muertos ~ Danielle Greenwood

Viva Los Muertos is Danielle Greenwood who is an El Paso, Texas native now residing in Bristol.

Danielle’s childhood was immersed with Catholic and Mexican culture from growing up in a border town, which has heavily influenced her art.  She tends to experiment with many types of mediums and most of her art is created from up-cycled resources. She gives old, bland frames a new lease of life then turn them into boxes with an antique gilded style or vibrant colours.  She hand casts the plaster skulls and hand sculpts clay for the large skull and heart pieces. All pieces of art are unique and original.

  

Danielle also creates Mexican cushions and accessories with unique fabrics. Danielle is often asked ‘why skulls and what is your fascination with death?’.

The simple answer is:

“I have sadly been exposed to a lot of deaths in my life. Each death has taught me something new about life and myself. I could spend my life mourning the death of my father, brother, aunt, best friends and grandparents but I choose to celebrate their life through an ornate skull that symbolizes all that they were. I believe in the Mexican celebration ‘Dia De Los Muertos’ and all that it stands for. There is so much beauty in humans and that does not need to be lost because their body is no longer with us. The common misconception is that Day of the Dead is associated with Halloween or it is a morbid act. It is the opposite. It is a festival to celebrate the souls of those who have left this world and celebrate who they were and what they loved. We do this by creating an ‘Ofrenda’ (offering) to our loved one whom has passed with a decoration of flowers (marigolds), a sugar skull with their name on it, food or booze that they may have loved, a photo of them in remembrance and ‘Pan de Muerto’ (bread of the dead) which is a traditional sweet bread made to leave on the Ofrenda. There are elements of this festival that have become very popular around the world. It is a positive step in the world embracing Mexican Culture but it also saddens me that many are not embracing the true meaning of the festival. I hope that by sharing my story, selling my art and creating an Ofrenda yearly, the world will understand the story of why it all began.”

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