Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Territory

Last night I emailed my Artist Statement for Negotiating Territory which will be hung in the Form, Not Function Exhibit next month.  Somewhere I came across an artist's website and his statement read: I make stuff. If you like it, its art; if you don't, its not.  How wonderful to leave it fully up to the viewer to decide!  It neither hinders or interferes with my own self definition as artist and yet leaves room for the viewer to also be fully engaged or not.  I've found myself saying "life is as it is" as a way to release myself from overthinking and overanalysis of situations.  Is the common trait of being human is that we really live out our lives based on "belief and perception" and truth, in an ultimate sense of it, is false?????  If truth and justice where women, they'd be living in domestic violence shelters.  The statement:

NEGOTIATING TERRITORY

I have the soul of a poet who is re-emerging as an art quilter. My first quilt began some 20 years ago…a traditional pattern in a blend of commercial solids and African fabrics...99% hand pieced and quilted which took over 10 years to complete. That quilt was homage to my great grandmother, Willie Pearl Usher, who responded to my request to teach me to quilt after I graduated, that the monies paid for my college education went wasted if “that college did not teach me to quilt”. She could not phantom it.
This re-emergence as an art quilter started in March , 2003. Through a series of local workshops, symposiums, classes, and mentored study up through the present, I have evolved to this point. Negotiating Territory was created during a 2 month retreat of rented studio time at Mary Anderson Center for the Arts in Floyds Knob, Indiana and represents a culmination of knowledge and focus to achieve my original design.
Like Baby Suggs, a character in Morrison’s Beloved, I am fascinated with color, followed by shape and line. Negotiating Territory is a range of calm and cool blues and greens (mostly hand-dyed) vying for space, with the negotiations yielding breakthroughs of light in unexpected spaces and glimmers of hope. Beyond this, the viewer is welcome to infer their own take on this particular negotiation.


Altering Books



This morning I put some crackle medium on 2 pages and it has to cure from 3-5 days.  So it will be awhile before I'm able to get back into this one.  I'm back to glueing pages together in the other one.  Its cold and wet today (not like the prediction of warmer temps the weatherman had thought).  I might suit up to go out for more cheap books at the thrift store but I'm leaning toward staying in until its time to pick A. up this evening.



African DNA



Every since I read about the project at Howard University as a result of learning about the African Burial Project which they received the bones and artifacts, I've wanted to have my DNA analized.  The oldest living relative I've found on my mother's side, Katherine Robey, came to Kentucky at the age of 12 with the White Robeys from North Carolina sometime in the early to mid 1800s.  Peter was saying this morning that he wouldn't mind having donating his DNA also given his history and how the slave trade affected his family in Sierra Leone and Nigeria.



A couple of days ago I came across this blog of Mr. Grant who not only was linked to his African ethnicty but actually, by nothing less than divine fate, found his distant relatives!!!!!!  Any African in the Diaspora who has ever attempted genealogy research knows that this is HUGE! I mean REALLY REALLY HUGE!!!!! AND TO A GROUP WHO STILL USES GRIOTS TO KEEP HISTORY!!!!  I hold the impression that the importance and status of griots are on the decline (for reasons that will always remain debatable and multiple).   



6 comments:

  1. Excellent job on you artist statement. I find them very difficult to do.

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  2. I love your statement, and you can put on a page as much as a page can hold!
    I've wanting to try the DNA test (me and my dad), thanks for sharing the blog!

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  3. Can you share more info with me about getting your DNA tested? My husband is black (i'm not) and I'd love to know, for our son's sake, more about his African ancestry.

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  4. Please forgive me, Karoda, for answering people on YOUR blog, but the plus side to this is that YOU now won't have to deal with these particular questions. If you click on the link for my blog, Tror Na Foe, for which Karoda has provided you the link, you'll find links there for three different sources of geneaological DNA testing... two of them general; one of them African American specific. Good luck. If you have further questions, you may contact me at dgrant7@earthlink.net
    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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  5. Thanks David...I left a comment for Kelly at her blog also!

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  6. I just spent hours on David's Blog and couldn't put it down. Thanks for the lead, Karoda. I am fascinated by this riveting adventure in finding family. Wow!

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