In 2019, variations of these gourds known as calabash in the African diaspora, which exist all over the world, made themselves known to me as the primary materials of a new commissioned installation work.

Indeed, I did not set out to explore the relationship between gendered labor, the quotidian, and the spiritual. Yet here they were. Entanglements exposed:

The Sacred Medicine TheGreatWomb Laundry

       Conduit       Bowls

       Bluing   Cosmetics     Twinning

Source of Wisdom

              Water Bearer

       Measuring Device 

Libations      Belly        Portals

   Rattle     Spoons


Cooking      Foraging      Triplets

The wonder in these Kwi formations is enhanced by the organic patina and pigments from natural items that have utilitarian uses in what is associated with women’s work. Such things imbued with colonial histories of extraction are also charged with properties that render them effective ingredients in all kinds of rituals and healing work.

Photo credit: All artwork and photographs are by © Gina Athena Ulysse...

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