For nearly a century, Afro-Brazilian religions have been providing inspiration and expressive direction for many Black artists. With strong aesthetic appeal, Candomblé inspired the artistic production of Mestre Didi, the priest-artist for whom tradition and memory marked the points of departure of his creative invention. Entities of Umbanda appear represented in paintings by Heitor dos Prazeres. If Rubem Valentim, Emanoel Araújo, Edival Ramosa, Ayrson Heráclito, Antonio Obá, Moisés Patrício and Jaime Lauriano are among those who maintain a closer or further proximity with the universe of the sacred, there are few known black women artists who include these elements of Afro-Brazilian religion in their work.
One of them is Maria Auxiliadora (1938-1974), from the state of Minas Gerais, and another is the Bahian Eneida Sanches (Salvador, 1962), nominated for the Pipa Prize in 2015. Auxiliadora chose the figurative and colorful description of religious scenes; Sanches, for the most part, opts for abstraction, even if recognizable objects like clothes, shoes, people and animals often appear in some of her works. This was notable in the recent exhibit Transe-Deslocamento de Dimensões, with curatorship by Marília Panitz, at the Andrea Rehder Gallery, in São Paulo.