September 21st to November 22nd, 2013
Opening Reception, Saturday, September 21st, 5 to 7pm
Gallery talk: Saturday, September 21st 7pm
Save the Date: Wednesday, October 23rd 7pm A conversation with Ifé Franklin and Jennifer Pustz, Member of the Royall House and Slave Quarters Board of Directors (Medford, MA http://www.royallhouse.org/)
The gallery, reception and connected events are all free and open to the public.
Spoke Gallery @Medicine Wheel Productions
110 K Street – 2nd floor, South Boston, MA 02127
MBTA: Redline Broadway Stop- no 9 Bus to K St.
Gallery Hours: Wednesdays- Fridays from 12 to 5pm and Saturdays by appointment
(For a Saturday appointment- email please at least two days in advance: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Free and open to the public (gallery and all connected events)
Ifé Franklin’s Indigo Project provides a historical, artistic, and cultural context to the important cultural aspects of the life of the enslaved and the artistic production of Adire textile making. Components of her Indigo Project, sculptures, small installations, textiles and 2d works, will transform the Spoke Gallery. During the course of the exhibition, the creation of a wooden structure resembling a slave cabin will occur. The structure will be completely covered inside and outside with Aso Adire (indigo textile) that was produced by a group of volunteers that the artist taught the traditional techniques of Adire from the Yoruba culture of Nigeria, West Africa. Medicine Wheel Production’s Spoke Gallery is the first site it to show one of the cabins of this project.
For Ifé Franklin, this is a project that is a living testament honoring those who lived and died producing these two materials she works with closely- plantation grown cotton and indigo. She states, “I want to share this art with people that are interested in the history of enslavement and the collective healing that needs to take place to bring forth remembrance and reconciliation. Without forgetting the unspeakable violence and dehumanization the system of slavery perpetrated, I also want to look at their lives as larger than the tragic ugliness of their situation. I want us to see them as more than just slaves. I know that our ancestors shared a great love with one another in the ways that they could, for as long as time would allow, since they never knew just how much time they had with family members and friends. The Indigo Project challenges us to dare envision an experience of slavery where beauty and love were possible. Our ancestors simply would not have survived if they also had not loved and created beauty even in the most inhumane conditions. Theirs is the story of America, of Americans, a nation and its people.”
Ifé Franklin, who was born and raised in Washington D.C., lives and works in Roxbury. She is a teaching artist and an interdisciplinary artist who works in many mediums: drawing, collage, installation, sculpture, performance, photography, etc. She also specializes in creating Aso Adire (indigo fabric), a traditional West African Art form. She holds a diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and she recently had a solo show at the Uforge Gallery that featured some of the small sculptural and 2-d elements of the Indigo Project. She has had solo shows in Boston at the Center for Latino Arts and at the Dillaway Thomas House. Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at: New Art Center, Boston City Hall’s Scullay Square Gallery, Lillian Immig Gallery at Emmanuel College, the AAMARP Gallery, the Harbor Gallery at UMass Boston, the Cambridge Multicultural Art Center, and the Northampton Center for the Arts.
Special thanks to the Elliot House, the Royall House and Slave Quarters, Perspective Photo, and all the volunteers and collaborators who have helped to make this exhibition happen.
Image: Gracelynn D. Means’ Adire; Photo credit: Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo; Design credit: Tim Spruill Creative All other photos courtesy of Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo