Dad's Journey, 1972 to 2006
Button Beaded RagGonNon Music Box Pop-Up BoOK
28 1⁄2 in x 172 in
Columbus Museum of Art, gift of the artist
Encrusted with beads, shells, and buttons atop layers of appliqued, richly colored and patterned cloth, this memorial to Aminah's father is aesthetically powerful and spiritually charged. Within the piece are books and scrolls that recount the details of Aminah's father's life and the larger story of the African-American ancestral past. Hogmawg dolls and dozens of button-eyed, cloth pouches represent the spirits of departed souls who always remain to influence and inspire those who live now or will do so in the future.
This is really something very special and really quite sacred. I call this a music box, button-beaded, RagGonNon, pop-up book. It's beyond one's dad- it's about many, many people. It begins with the African experience and the people who lived with their traditions and their way of life before the slave trade. It's about the nightmare of the Atlantic slave trade and the experiences of African people who reached the shores of America. It's about having to deal with racism and discrimination. It's about surviving, in spite of all of this. This piece not only represents my relationship with my dad but also with my own people and what happened to us.