Starbridge to Your Door, 2020
Our intention for Olympia's Window Project was to create an installation that is calling to both our past and future ancestors. We as a whole are facing climate change, war, police brutality,
pandemic viruses, natural disasters. We see this at every turn, there is a collective anxiety, and our children are feeling hopelessness and dealing with deepening anxieties. We three represent descendants of peoples who have been stolen, traversed over oceans, sold as property, forcibly removed from our families, seen our lands and peoples ravaged and exploited. These things that we are facing, our ancestors faced; their resilience is in our blood and what we face requires a collective response/remedy. Our installation is a prayer: we are bridging our ancestors to our prayer for the future to find and create the answers that we need. We are calling in a future, a future where we can be in balance, and carry out our ancestor's deepest dreams.
Thank you to Tracy Jameson, who took many of these images!
Future Blanket 2420
Our Wildest Dreams,
A little over a month ago we saw a post on our current (August, 2020) social media platform. @life_as_ceremony shared an image entitled “Ancestral Mathematics'' which stated “ For you to be born today from 12 previous generations, you needed a total of 4094 ancestors over the past 400 years.” We felt profoundly shaken by this new understanding, as we have felt individual, disconnected, and untethered in our experience as human beings. This sense of disconnection is due to colonization, the undermining of our ancestral connections, the patriarchy, and capitalism. It was from this place that we were inspired to create something that would make this sense of connection tangible. To get this feeling of connection into our bodies we made long red threads spanning twelve feet. With the thread we walked back and forth, each pass signifying one life’s journey. At times we passed the thread between us to shorten the distance. As we worked we noticed this reinforced a
new understanding about just how connected we are. We strive to have this knowledge transform our understanding so deeply that it transfers to future generations, and is a gift to our ancestors who held this wounding as well. After we reached 4094 red threads we cut and braided them into bundles to be hung in a public space.
In our time, in our community, there are spaces where we are underrepresented. An elder named Momma Tee arrived in our community almost five years ago. She went to City Council meetings, the local colleges, and even met with the mayor to find the people. The mayor said there were no Black artists and very few artists of color in what is now Olympia, Wa USA (the traditional unceded territories of the Squaxin Island and Nisqually Peoples: coordinance 47.0379N -122.9007W.) Over the last two years Momma Tee has worked to find artists, and performers, and bring us together to celebrate. These spaces are so healing and vital. The 4094 threads are being seen and witnessed in this space.
During the viewing, conversations happened between artists and art works, interfacing with stories and generations—reverberating connections that those threads represented. . . At the end of the viewing, the threads were gathered up and braided again to be woven into the blanket that now enfolds you, our future children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children. We hope and pray this finds you in a place where you are protected, connected, nourished, and free— that you are surrounded by community, wise family, and health, and that you know who you are. We pray you have a life that is filled with purpose, and you live in balance with the things that support your life.
Love you through space and time,
Aisha, Cholee, and Shameka