Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Art and Life

Sketch of ‘The ship sculpture by Emanoel Araujo’ by Meera Rao 
The ship by Emanoel Araujo 

I visited the exhibit ‘Afro-Atlantic Histories’  at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC on June 7 2022 and was so touched by this sculpture in wood & carbon steel that I had to record it! The label reads:Araujo's work reflects the influence of European modern art and African and Afro-Brazilian cultural histories. This geometric, abstract wood structure is a direct reference to slave ship plans (like the one depicted in James Phillips's Description of a Slave Ship, shown nearby). The 31 wood sculptures representing human forms echo images in abolitionist pamphlets of bodies piled inside ship holds, while a metal chain linked to a shackle recalls the brutal restraint of enslaved people. Translating iconography of the slave trade into geometric forms, The Ship suggests the symbolic capacity of abstraction.

The entire exhibit was very powerful with many paintings and sculptures. In fact I visited again during that week to slowly taken in the works. 

The spread on my upcycled Smithsonian Engagement Calendar -Pandemic journal 2022 week 24

The photo in the Smithsonian Engagement Calendar 2022 upcycled to my 3rd year of journaling during the pandemic week by week is ‘inland Niger Delta Artist Djenne, Mortimer Region, Mail Equestrian Figure 13- 15th Century Ceramic, collection of National Museum of African Art.  Unearthed from the archaeological remains of an urban center in the Inland Niger Delta region, this is among the area's largest surviving terracotta figures. Its elaborate dress suggests ceremonial military attire, and it may represent a warrior allied with the Malian emperor Sundiata Keita (c. 1210-60).’  As it has happened on almost every week there has been some connection between something my life to the photo on these calendars! I will chalk it up to serendipity. 

‘All Ladies Crew’ pencil, ink and watercolor by Meera Rao 

I was a small part of ‘all Ladies Crew’ of a Habitat for humanity house built at Suffolk, Va week 24 in June 2021.  I learned how to measure, hammer and wield electric saws,  drills and nail guns :)  It was a very rewarding experience and felt a good tired at the end of the day. 

Spread of upcycled Smithsonian Engagement Calendar week 24 2021 
The photo this particular week in 2021 is Koji Enokura (1942-1995) Symptom-Sea, Body(P. W. No. 40), 1972 Japan Gelatin silver print 1316 × 16%16 in. (33.2 × 42 cm)Collection of Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Enokura was a member of the Mono-ha (School of Things) movement in Japan, a group of artists who practiced "not-making" by slightly altering materials to call attention to the relationships between things. In his Symptoms series, Enokura used photography to document his own ephemeral presence within the surrounding environment. And the photo depicts opposite of what I was up to that week - making ! 


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