Dorotha Lemeh, Ode to Harriett, 36″ h x 22″w, Mixed media collage (cord, graphite, polymer) on fine art photo paper, 2019
I am currently creating a new body of collage works referencing our collective past, present and unwritten future. My current series of images are concerned with the 13th amendment that served to abolish slavery & the 19th amendment that recognized women’s ability to vote.
In my first series of works, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, are central to the themes that I am to explore. For me, these 2 women, who embodied our collective desires to put in place both amendments, serve as keystones connecting and strengthening our collective human stories.
The second series involves a different type of exploration as I consider Terra Earth and the loss & reclamation of our planet’s biodiversity. In future blog postings, I will expand upon the foundation of my creative research in this area as a platform for our potential collective futures to be discussed.
The third series combines stories from literature and mythology housed in our human history. With this body of work, a more contemporary look of the portrayal of the role of women is to be explored.
As an aside, 99.9% of the images that I am using for this series, originate from photographs that I myself have taken over the course of several decades. Unless specified, I will be utilizing the older form of collage, meaning, I will be cutting, layering and adhering images to paper, canvas or other surfaces. I use this particular layered technique in order to fully establish the narrative of my visual story. In other versions of these collages, I will either use digital or animated methods to enhance my works.
The Foundation for Series 1: The 13th & 19th Amendments
Within the Constitution of the United States, there resides two rather significant Amendments, the 13th and the 19th, which when ratified expanded our understanding of the following words, We the People. As a northern born African American, Afro American, Black, Negro, Woman of Color, who grew up in the south, I personally view these two landmark amended decisions as ones that expanded and strengthened the first paragraph of our Constitution, “…to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity….”
As one of the many descendants of the enslaved, I wish to recognize and acknowledge all of those individuals of African, European & Native American descent, who risked and continue to risk their lives for own individual liberties. It remains their valiant efforts as well as their ethical compass that continues to guide us and remind us to support the need for everyone to fully participate in the American Dream. What unites us, strengthens us.
To learn more about our Constitution, visit this site: https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/the-constitution