Sola & Olumide

Sola —Yoruba, pronounced “Sho-lah.”

In the Yoruba culture, children are purposely bestowed names with intention at birth, and I was delighted to find that they are not gender-specific.  The majority of the people that were enslaved were young.  Imagining how they may have felt–having been separated from their families and their home–and what they may have remembered about their homeland, I created this young child with the forlorn expression.  On her right side, there are “memories” of home, iconic images in bas relief of African wildlife and landscape.

Olumide—Pronounced “O-lu-me-day” Yoruba, means “God has arrived.”

“Olumide” was a friend of Sola’s. In my mind, the children are not siblings but companions, living the same experience. The boy was created first.  The boy was created first. I envisioned him one way, and he came out with his own features. By this time–I believed that there were millions of souls in Heaven watching and cheering as I created these works–so I think he “came through” as he should. On his back are bas-relief images of African masks, art that is indigenous to their homeland and was seen commercially in America until well after the third quarter of the 20th century.

Enslaved Africans Rain Garden

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