This series of objects is being created from closeup views I took as photo documentation while working on “Connected by Sea“. The images are digitally manipulated and returned to the world of physical objects, mounted on wood blocks and further finished with painted detail and a thick epoxy coating. 25 of these have made it into physical being, some have gone on to find other homes.
Amazonian Pathways (Brazil)
Detail of a circular pattern from a ceramic plate, discovered in an archeological dig on the islands of the Amazon river delta. This was chosen to represent and honor the indigenous peoples of Brazil, who were also impacted by the era of clippership trade between New England, Brazil and Africa.
Turned into a giant tattoo design, the pattern is stained into the cement of the pier at HarborArts at 19 feet across. The detail photo of the installed ground tattoo has been embellished with vibrantly colored paint to reflect the sensibility of modern Brazil, using an indigenous “pathways through life” line-and-dot pattern. The finished vignette is 8 inches square by 2″ deep, with a copper edging and thick epoxy coating.
World Turtle (Northeastern Native American)
This tattoo design was stained into the cement at the beginning of the main pier at Boston Shipyard, where the pier meets the land. It was intended to honor the native American tribes of the area, whose land this was.
This detail photo of the installation has been printed on archival watercolor paper and mounted on an 8″ wood block, embellished with gold and sealed with a thick epoxy topcoat bound in copper edging.
‘Turtle Island’ is a term used by several Northeastern Woodland Native American tribes, especially the those of the Iroquois Confederacy, as the name for the continent of North America. The turtle is a sacred figure in Native American symbolism as it represents Mother Earth, and plays a central role in the story of creation of the land. The Turtle symbol signifies good health and long life, and the hard shell of the turtle represents perseverance and protection.
The tree with its roots in the land continues up the pier in a line-and-dot “path through life” design, passing by the New England Sailors tattoo and joining up with the Taino/Arawak symbols stained further out the pier, symbolizing kinship and shared history with the indigenous peoples of the Caribbean.