I started working on this embroidery piece in January 2017 as part of my Fun-A-Day for that year while I was in the thick of working on Philadelphia Assembled (see my post about that project), while still processing the results of the 2016 presidential election. I’m calling it How civilizations heal (Morrison).
Toni Morrison wrote these words as part of No place for self-pity, No room for fear, an essay included in the 150th anniversary edition of the Nation. She was reflecting on her response to the 2004 presidential election, but her words felt like a call to
arms art in 2017. I put it down and picked it up a couple of times, working on it in 2018 again for my Fun-A-Day and finally finished it in 2019 shortly after her passing. The colors, specifically the bright red, are homage to my friend Ana B. Hernandez (click her for her website) who passed in 2016. I’m pretty sure the subtle patterned fabric is from her stash as well.
It is a little hard to photograph, and reads:
This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal. – Toni Morrison