The Afro-Caribbean piece of this project is going to be crucial. Our wealth as a trading city was built in no small part on the rum triangle trade, with all the history and baggage that entails. Also Boston is now home to a significant Haitian community! I have high hopes for finding good advice and hopefully artist collaboration here.
After receiving an introduction and some really delightful talks with Boston-based cultural historian M. Charlot Lucien over the winter, I’ve been put in touch with local artist Fritz Ducheine, who is familiar with traditional forms, and has agreed to think about designing a tattoo for the pier!
Meanwhile, here’s a preliminary sketch that I put together for my own edification, using elements that M. Lucien discussed… Mermaid (La Sirene), symbol of the sea… blowing a conch (call to freedom) and guiding a ship. In the sky is a drum with Legba symbol (the crossroads, travel, showing the way)… Other natural elements (reminiscent of cut-sheet-metal art of the island) in the sky and water travel with them and show unobstructed forward progress.
Good to be finally getting some basic knowledge of this culture that’s been intertwined with ours for so long! Looking forward to more collaboration.