By this world, I am betrayed as a Woman -- as a Black Woman. Baptism is more than a rite of piety – It is an escape.
Black southern culture is rooted in themes of rebirth and resilience.
There is no more powerful figure to carry that truth than the Black Woman in America.
Ascension is a large-scale installation featuring a series of portraits depicting six black women, dressed in white, wading in dark waters. Together these women form a familiar tableau within black southern culture. A river baptism.
Baptism is not just about God, religion, or Christianity. When the Black
American experience cannot be divorced from pain, injustice,
perseverance, and stolen power - Baptism is reflection of the outward
need to believe in a world beyond this one – Heaven.
Ascension is a surrealist view of the escapism of Baptism, the power
of black women to ASCEND and transcend. It is a nod to resiliency and belief that the reservoirs of strength needed this This Fight and the next (And yes…our bodies, our power, our free breath are under siege) will always be there when we need them.
Submerged in the river, are cleansed of hardship and pain. We emerge from that darkness to find the light that eludes us.
The light brings strength. To fight. To persevere.