Monday, July 30, 2012

Juried into Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fiber Arts Exhibition

I am so excited to have been juried into the exhibition "Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fiber Arts Exhibition" starting August 28- October 28th at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park in Historic Charleston, South Carolina. Inspired by the folklore and visual history of the black mermaid archetype,” Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fiber Arts Exhibition” will be the largest showcase of Mermaid art quilts and art dolls ever assembled. “There could not be a more perfect site for “ Mermaids”, than City Gallery at Waterfront Park, as it over looks Charleston Harbor.” Curator Cookie Washington said enthusiastically. Enslaved Africans, carried across the Atlantic in the slave trade, brought with them their beliefs and practices honoring their ancestral water deities. “Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fiber Arts Exhibit” celebrates the visual cultures and histories of water goddesses. Today, communities of color have reestablished, revisualized, and revitalized African mermaids in their art. The quilting and doll-making traditions have also undergone a renaissance from utilitarianism to fine crafts. ‘Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore’ is a journey of color and inspiration, a visual feast of imaginative expression. The fine craftsmanship in Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore is griot in nature,” says Curator Cookie Washington. She has brought together both critically acclaimed and emerging fiber artists. “Each piece is a storyteller, using color, texture, form and embellishment to express a narrative.” African-American quilting as a craft-form is hardly recent. Long before the advent of slavery on this continent, civilizations of Africa were weaving the backdrop for African-American quilting as they preserved their aesthetic principles, religious and cultural traditions. Women continued the quilting tradition in the American South. Symbolism and meaning continued as a thread through quilts crafted during slavery. Quilts were made and used in a utilitarian fashion, hand stitching scraps together to keep families warm. In some cases, quilts made by elders were the only legacy a family had, preserving memories and events. In a rare collaboration, the exhibit catalogue pairs profound poetry and fantastic photography that will be a lasting reminder of the relationship between fine craft and soaring poetic verse that speaks of the black mermaid. Dive in to this rich, juicy, Mermaid poetry. This vivid affecting, powerful collection accompanies the artwork sensationally. Taken together, you’ll be baptized into the undersea world of the Merpeople. Opening Reception Sept 8th, 2012 5pm to 8pm

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