Seven Imitate is a suite of seven unique siligraph prints produced in collaboration with Master Printer Otis Tamasauskas at Queens University. The series plays with the notions of the imitator in West African masquerade. The imitator serves as a trickster character. Often appearing as a hybrid of human and animal form, the imitator celebrates the notion of hybridity and explores the transitory and adaptable nature of identity. In these prints, Fernandes takes on the role of the imitator, playfully combining images of ballet body parts with images of artefacts from the Justin and Elisabeth Lang Collection of African Art. The recombinations explore the simultaneity of Fernandes' experiences as a classically trained ballet dancer, and as a Kenya immigrant. In this light, the masked figures of the Seven Imitate, become emblems for the queerness of identity as it dances through the complicated intersections of body, place, institution and colonial history.
African art images from the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, The Justin and Elisabeth Lang Collection of African Art.