Working on a series of ethereal sheets of paper based on the feminine form (more about those later) for an upcoming exhibit, I paused to read "Tom's Journal" a companion piece for my work: "Uncle Tom Revisited," a paper quilt which will also hang in the same show....
I read Uncle Tom's Cabin a few years ago, for the very first time. All I could see as I read was the assault on the family. The aftermath of which we are yet living out... I began the quilt and journal as I grieved my way through the book, my way of giving voice to characters who had no ample opportunity to speak for themselves.
Just as powerful as when I first wrote the journal, I began to cry at the end. Once again realizing that six generations removed from slavery, I, we, owe a massive debt to all those souls on whom shoulders we stand.
Certainly the most misunderstood character of all is Uncle Tom. Growing up those two words always meant "trader" to me. A weak spineless person who was filled with self loathing and could not be trusted. When in reality the namesake for the term was completely opposite. Harriet Beecher Stove's Tom was a man of immense conviction and courage. Who actually sacrificed his own life for family and community.... Isn't it funny how things get twisted along the way.
When Abraham Lincoln met Mrs. Stowe he said, "So you are the woman responsible for the Civil War!" To this Mrs. Stowe replied: " I could not control the story; it wrote itself!" Somehow my art became attached to that string of consciousness, to the extent that, once I immersed myself into the book and the work -- it lead me.
Visual Alchemy (April 25 - June 6, 2010, Pierro Gallery, South Orange, NJ) is a show of eight African-American Artists, and how the hand and the heart are connected to the spirit. I am very pleased that the curator and my friend Janet Taylor Pickett is including Uncle Tom Revisited along with some of my current work into the exhibit. Please stop by and visit if you have opportunity. I believe it will be worth the trip.
Exhibition - Visual Alchemy
April 25 - June 6, 2010
Baird Center • 5 Mead Street
South Orange, NJ 07079
Uncle Tom’s Cabin Revisited 2004
Handmade Paper Quilt mounted on Canvas on heavy stretchers 48” square
See the quilt on my website: http://www.teaandwings.com/gallery/UncleTomsCabin.htm
Labels: My Art