Most readers will have seen all the amazing art work that has appeared around Akumal pueblo over the past two years. While much of the work is created by visiting artists during the Akumal Arts Festival, there are quite a few artists who call Akumal home. One of them is Canadian artist, and Maya art specialist, Rory Eade.
Rory’s passion for painting authentic Maya art was born after a work accident left him partially blind in his left eye. As he tells the story:
“My father was an artist, and when I was young he told me of a place called Akumal. When I was 20 he told me see Tulum before I die and everything will come together.
On September 29, 2008, I was on my first day at a new job. In the first half hour there, I knew that wasn’t a job for me and asked my father’s spirit to help me find a better life. A gentlemen named Ever from Mexico made a mistake with a nail gun and a three and a half inch nail changed my perspective forever.”
While most people wouldn’t consider being shot in the face with a nail gun a lucky break, it put Rory on a path that eventually lead him to his life as an Akumal artist. Which I think most of us would agree is better than working construction in Canada!
Forced to stay home and rest after the accident, Rory spent the time researching Mexico and became fascinated by Maya glyphs. In 2013 he became a contributor to the Institute of Mayan Studies, and came to know several prominent Mayanists, including David Freidel, who co-authored Maya Cosmos:Three thousand years on the Shaman’s path.”
When he could travel, Rory knew he needed see the glyphs he was drawing in real life. He followed his Dad’s advice and headed to Tulum. While there, he visited Akumal and fell in love. As his Dad had predicted – everything fell into place, and Rory moved here full time.
Some of his first Akumal art work was on the walls of Hekab Be Biblioteca, where he is an active volunteer.
Rory’s artwork can be seen around the Pueblo – just look for the Maya gods! – and at businesses and homes in Akumal and Tulum. You can also see his work on his Facebook page – Rory Eade Arte – and Instagram @rory eade arte. If you like what you see, and want a mural for your home or business, drop him a line at [email protected].
I commissioned Rory to paint the god Kukulcan – the feathered serpent – coming down my stairway in Sirenis. The original glyph came from a temple in the ancient Maya city of Yaxchilan and can be seen in the Yaxchilan Wikipedia entry.