Marin Alexis Burnett

Ascension #1
Ascension #1

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Ascension #1
Ascension #1

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Featured Works

Ascension 2 - the Shepherd
Ascension 2 - the Shepherd

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Artist and Statement
Artist and Statement

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Historical images of southern baptism
Historical images of southern baptism

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Ascension 2 - the Shepherd
Ascension 2 - the Shepherd

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This is Ascension.

Baptism in the river.

A pathway to peace, power, strength, salvation.

I am black. Home isn’t here.

Heaven is a refuge.

I am submerged.

Leaving a world of enslavement, pain, oppression, violence…

…  ascending to freedom, acceptance, love of my brown/black/red-bone skin.

I wade in the water to save my soul and my self.

Take me to the water and grant me permission to fight.

This is Ascension.

Ascension is a large scale installation featuring a series of portraits depicting 6 black women, dressed in white wading in dark waters. Together these women form a familiar tableau within black southern culture. A river baptism. The installation is accompanied by traditional negro spirituals to take the viewer to transport the viewer to a different time and space creating an immersive experience.

 

Baptism in the south is not just about religion or piety, it is a rite of passage. It is an outward acknowledgement of our need to be reborn and dedication to a bedrock of the black experience, the church. When one is submerged in the river, one leaves the past and moves into a new present and future. When you emerge, you are reborn. But its not just about following a religion or deity; it is about being able to cleanse oneself of hardship and pain by believing in an ultimate purpose bigger than ourselves.

 

Ascension is a surrealist view of the power of black culture that is rooted in the need to believe in a higher power. It is a nod to the resiliency of black women and our need to find resiliency and belief in all things. It is a visual representation of the power of black women to ascend against all odds.

Refracted Saint No. 4.

They all have names.

 

This piece is an homage to the hundreds of black women that go silently missing. The woman in yellow represents the goddess Oshun. Here she is the patron Saint of lost souls. Her halo is made from the faces of 214 black women who have gone missing. Vanished without fanfare. No media coverage. No nationwide search.

How did I find them? www.ourblackgirls.com

This site curates images and stories of the missing black girls and womxn that have otherwise been overlooked. Any ONE of these women could have been me. Or someone who looks like me. The 214 girls and womxn here are a fraction of those cataloged on @ourblackgirls.

Take a moment. See their faces. Learn their names. They all have names.

Currently on display at The En Gallery in Columbia City, Seattle.