This painting is currently exhibiting and not available for purchase. For future inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
original painting by Heather Bird Harris
foraged clay watercolors from Bayou Bonfouca / Salmen Brickyard / St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, acrylic, and pastel on raw canvas
16" x 20"
Douglas Fir floating frame included
This painting bears witness to the reverberations of history and acknowledges that landscapes are rarely neutral.
It's made from clays foraged in St. Tammany Parish which 13,000 years ago was home to Paleolithic peoples, then Mississippian mound builders, then Acolapissa, Tangipahoa, and Choctaw. It was called Bonfouca or "river residence." Then the French arrived and called the bayou La Liberte. The Spanish gave away land rights, violently displacing native peoples. Colonists turned the cypress into lumber and the clay into brick, industries that would build New Orleans using the forced labor of enslaved people. After the Civil War, slavery was replaced with Black codes, convict leasing, and state-sanctioned white terrorism. This specific site used to be the Salmen Brick & Lumber Company which relied on Black labor, poorly paid or forced through imprisonment. Today it's a park, still covered in brick fragments. 71% of residents in St. Tammany Parish voted for Donald Trump in 2020.
Created as a part of the 'Qualia' Collection. Learn more about this collection, the history of the earthen materials, and the inspiration behind this piece HERE.
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