Trinidad and Tobago
Photographer: Linda Brownlee
Donna began our photo shoot carrying a 13ft material corn-cob on her back, it was a hot day, and this shot was taken while Donna was cooling down. She is a Trinidadian Masquerader and part of the Dragons Carnival Club, performing at festivals three to four times a year.
Donna is wearing one of Shula Newick's Notting Hill Carnival creations. The costume is called 'Chicomecoatl: Aztec Goddess of the Maize'. In Aztec mythology, Chicomecoatl was the Aztec goddess of agriculture during the Middle Culture period. She is sometimes called 'goddess of nourishment'. The piece is a mixture of lamé, woven cloth, cotton tissues, black velveteen, gold braid, cardboard, and plastic ears of corn.
Newick works mostly with found materials, and sources her lamé in Trinidad. The outfit took two months to create. Often reaching up to 22ft high and too large to store, Newick's creations are usually burnt after they have been performed in.
We chose a field close to Donna's home in Colindale, North West London, away from the hustle and bustle of the festival, playfully pushing back to the natural environment that originally inspired the theme behind the piece she is wearing.
Linda Brownlee, photographer - www.lindabrownlee.com