Where you brought me, Alexis
•This portrait is an homage to Alexis Pauline Gumbs based in Durham NC- In her own words, Alexis is a Queer Black Troublemaker and Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all sentient beings.
•The background canvas is dyed with goldenrod I harvested this summer on Mcbane mill road, my home.
Her crown is made up of a white Ibis bird, a starfish, a sea urchin, a branch of hibiscus (also called Roselle) ; All beings of treasured borderlands, betweens, ever changing horizons; the coastal ecosystems.
•The portrait is framed by branches of dried wood gathered on land stewarded by my family.
Alexis gazes forward with a knowing smile as she listens to the whispers only conch shells know how to conjure.
•Her portrait is outlined by a spiral of swimming blue whales over sunsetting clouds. Slowly they morph towards dancing human forms.This portrait is a reminder we come from the deep- we are made up of an exponential number of beings whose wisdom, songs, trauma all swirl in our bloodstream, freckles and curls.
•Alexis connects me to my Caribbean heritage, of which I know little- informationally- but of which I have always known- spiritually- She has guided me to understand the power of my permanent status as ‘other’ and embrace the unfinished stories blooming from the scattered places around the globe that I and my ancestors have called home through time. From West Africa, to Ireland, to France, To Guadeloupe, to North Carolina and so on. All connected by their disconnection. All connected by water. All connected by me. Through her writing, I have learned that everything, every other, is teacher and holds secrets shared as answers if one simply knows how to listen.
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