PROCESSION Oil on canvas, 24″ x 30″, framed by the artist
A band of men celebrate their West African-Gullah heritage as the Carolina sun powers their revelry. They lead the festivities at a Gullah celebration along the waterfront in Charleston. For me the painting, as with much of my Gullah series, is about freedom and identity. A culture oppressed by slavery and displaced from their ancestral home, are engaged in a centuries long struggle for freedom and identity. Their struggle is our struggle. We as individual humans are on our own private struggle for freedom and identity, which in many ways are inventions of the mind. To overcome oppression we inevitably must render it powerless by surrendering to it. We celebrate the joyous place in ourselves that knows nothing of oppression. It is the part of ourselves that connects with the whole of humanity and recognizes we are part of something larger than ourselves. This band of “warriors” are “fighting” on behalf of this benign oneness.