The Sentinel is the largest, most elaborately costumed character in the procession. Each teaching is dramatized by one of these large-scale totemic figures. Disability activist and artist Melissa Addison-Webster plays the Sentinel Love. Love is the creator of all life. This sentinel is, in a sense, the simplest form but also the most complex because she is a seed. As she manifests growth, she takes on different shapes, blooms, and germinates. Love is accompanied by a group of followers who interact and intersect with the form, as they are love’s future seeds.
Here are a selection of Marlon Griffith’s initial sketches, artistic renderings, technical drawings, and images of the process of making Love. These images comprise a process extending almost two years. While the forms are intended to give shape and spirit to each of the teachings, each are also closely tied to the individual who plays each Sentinel and are custom designed to fit their particular body. Love’s four “wings,” which extend 8’ on either side of Melissa’s power chair (totaling 18’ when she play’s mas) and point to the four cardinal points, are evocative of the original seed that inspired its form—and this procession. They blow in the wind and show off this sentinel’s ability to migrate, re-plant, and germinate: a constant cycle of renewal. Made of fiberglass rods with hand-stitched mesh decorated with silver Punchinello, these wings catch the light of Wisdom’s sun: for Love is the product of the inter-relationality of all teachings.