My Rainbow Is Enuf
Mixed Media on Chicken Wire, Commissioned Public Art Installation, 2014
Click to listen to a brief introduction (audio statement) to My Rainbow Is Enuf. As part of the original showing of “i found god in myself” the curator Souleo requested each of the commissioned artist record an introduction that describes the inspirations that lead to creating the artwork included in the exhibition.
My Rainbow Is Enuf was commissioned by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as part of the curated vision, i found god in myself, of curator Perter "Souleo" Wright. i found god in myself is a multimedia exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s groundbreaking choreopoem, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf. As part of Souleo's vision, each commissioned artist was given one of the 20 choreopoems. I was given the last poem or scene which was titled "A laying on of hands".
In my opinion through her words, poems, gestures, dance, and overall stage directions, author/playwright Ntozake Shange has both manifested her own Rainbow, and facilitated spiritual birth to millions. Shange’s choreopoems and her life are examples of the brilliance and unique value of African American women. For colored girls features the journey of seven women, seven colors, seven stories each representing the lives of hundreds of thousands of African American women, and the lives of those who know and love them.
I consider this sculpture, My Rainbow Is Enuf, as kin to For Colored Girls, because as did my mother this play feed my spirit. I choose the title, My Rainbow is Enuf, to express my understanding of A laying on of hands and the entire For Colored Girls play. Laying on of hands is biblical reference to how Jesus laid hands on the sick in order to heal them. Shange also acknowledges the power of other types of “laying on of hands”: such as the pleasures of a lover’s touch, “I know bout/layin on bodies/layin out of man, Bringin him alla my fleshy self & some of my pleasure, Being taken full eager wet like I get sometimes;” or the nurturing touch of one’s’ mamma, “laying on of bosom and womb”. Yet, she was still “missing something”. However, while helping another woman, “Who waz missing what I waz missing” that she is confronted with her own divinity as a consequence of seeing the divine in all of the nature in her surroundings. Through differentiating the loving and pleasurable touch of her mother or a man she becomes aware of her own ability to heal “a laying on of hands the holiness of myself released”. Now instead of a “single” color she was fully integrated and this spiritual awakening revealed that she was always enuf.
My Rainbow, Is Enuf, will be a testament to the cycle of life, a women’s will to grow, to create, and her the inner drive to continue to love others, but more importantly her ability to love herself. Collectively the sculpture will be a metaphysical representation of my and the collective spirit of women continuing our healthy ever striving search for self, and search for oneness with the higher power. The mixture of colors, objects, images, and composition within My Rainbow Is Enuf will also be a manifestation of my color-spectrum and hence, my spirit.
My Rainbow is Enuf, Installation, Mixed Media, Philadelphia Museum of African Art
Click to listen to a brief introduction (audio statement and imagery) to My Rainbow Is Enuf. As part of the original showing of “i found god in myself” the curator Souleo requested each of the commissioned artist record an introduction that describes the inspirations that lead to creating the artwork included in the exhibition.