Grandmother's Circle: Matriarch

MATRIARCH- series of artwork is a very personal for me. It has challenged me into embracing my role as the Matriarch of my family. Reflecting upon my mother’s place in the order, she was the first-born daughter, which I am the first-born daughter of the first-born daughter. My grandmother became the matriarch at her birth, in 1893, when my great-grandmother (Emmerline Grayson, the daughter of Josie Banks) died in childbirth. My mother was passed the crown in 1975. I was given the crown in 1980. This series of work is a continuum of Grandmother’s Circle: A Tribute to Mama Crecy, and Sallie Alpha. (1924)

Mama Crecy, in over the slave pot
Assemblage, collage on wood, using fabric, wallpaper, family photo’s, lace, washboards, glass, cotton bulbs, seeds, acrylic, mediums, and varnish. I never cease to experiment with every possible combination and to play a genuine approach of investigation from the beginning to the end, merging neo-photorealism and abstract forms. These new works are a window to the imaginary, a summons, and an overture to a dialogue. That dialogue being childhood memories, myths, and creating traditions. 
"The Order of Things: Mama Crecy, Mama, and Me", 22 x 24, Acrylic Collage on Wood
Lois Burks pregnant with me 1955, Me pregnant with TaShant, and Tarri

In the Middle of a Cotton Field Old Johnson Rd, Lakeland GA
I come from a family of land owners, and share croppers, the Burks family still owns seventy arches of farm land in Freestone County Texas. There is only one living Uncle (of 13 Burks kids) on the farm, he is still a cowboy. We are people of the earth.  One of my earliest memories of working the land was when I went to the  cotton fields with my mother, in Fresno California 1959.  Thomas S. Bruton, and Alpha Betta Bruton were sharecroppers, they would farm themselves out to the grape fields, in the Central San Joaquin Valley. I went with them summer of 1969, then again to harvest raisins in Selma.

"By and By the Mist Will Rise", 15" x 30", Acrylic Collage on Wood
 Photo Collage, 15'x 30', Acrylic on Wood 

Detail: Cotton

Box Lid Collage, Tribute to Mama Crecy's People

This project "Matriarch" is important to me, because in my career trajectory I am focused on making elements of art, in a non-traditional setting as an environmental installation artist, and working outside of the traditional gallery setting. In the last decade, I have traveled nationally and internationally created art as an artist-in-resident engaging communities in the art of art making. I've created temporary installations in City Lots, along
Pedestrian Walkways , in National Forest Preserves, on Land Trust to Conservatorships,  in Storefront as Alternative Spaces, and in Museum settings. I have also challenged collaborating artists to present temporary installations that engages public interaction. I take these examinations and create assemblage pieces. Collaging various elements upon deconstruction of the installations.
"For I am Thankful Oluwamodupe", 24" x 22", Acrylic Collage on Wood
Despite being wordless, the memorable image  may be considered one of the most profound commentaries of the power of the individual.





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