Reliquary - Indigo
I collaborated with Poet Terri Witek to make text/textile Reliquaries---loom-woven works which encase and protect pieces of language in the way that sacred reliquaries hold saints’ bones, pieces of the true cross, etc. For St.Augustine’s Deeper Than Indigo we were particularly influenced by Mangaaka from the Kongo, in which sacred things once held inside stay unknown to the colonizers in whose hands these power figures fell. The title features a quote from St Augustine, himself an African saint. For the work the text from St Augustine is painted on hand-dyed indigo weft thread—on the loom the phrase both hides itself and fragments into unreadable glint. This hidden nature preserves the phrase as a cultural memory. At the same time it is broken/held in meshed indigo—one of the materialities of the slave trade which flourished in the city of St Augustine. Reliquary Indigo: This Grew Out of My Wound and Reliquary Indigo: It Is Not A Sound That Has Passed Away suggests that racism is a particularly ongoing cultural wound that requires both memory and deep glints of revelation. We respectfully note that the city of St. Augustine eventually wove its slave history into the Civil Rights movement which in1968 found its painful nexus here. We hope that leaving the edges of Reliquary Indigo: This Grew Out of My Wound and Reliquary Indigo: It Is Not A Sound That Has Passed Away unbound suggests that other histories/species/futures can soon catch.