If it hadn’t been for the above image, this impression of casual swag and splendor, with eyes that say “You got me, and… I bet you wanna know about this stripe on my hand;” if it hadn’t been for this image, I might have been too intimidated by her work displayed on Facebook to ask Carole Morisseau to contribute to Garden Spices. Then, Baber/Charcoal, soil from Brazil (40″ x 50″), floated across my page and prompted me to ask; she answered, “Yes.” With bated breath, I welcome Carole Morisseau to our Garden Spices family. – Victorine
Artist Carole Morisseau is a recent recipient of a Fulbright Hays Fellowship Group Project Abroad to Brazil in 2018. During this study, she was introduced to and inspired by many Afro Brazilian customs and practices. One such custom was experienced in the city of Sao Luis, Maranhao, Brazil where individuals tie wish ribbons onto the fence at the Cathedral Senghor do Bomfim and make 3 wishes. People also tie the ribbons onto their wrists and the ribbons are never removed; they must disintegrate from wear. She found a similar custom in the funeral practices in certain clans in Ghana.
When creating the installation “Healing Wall” (72” x 80”), Morisseau combined these practices. The artist asks that participants write down the name of an African American or person from the African diaspora that has been brutalized or killed by police or a corrupt system. In Brazil, every 23 minutes a black person is killed in this manner. Morisseau takes the ribbon or shred of fabric and then ties it onto the “Wall”. “Healing Wall” is a three dimensional interactive art installation.
The artist hopes that by congregating and talking about the occurrence of these deaths and saying and writing the names of people that have lost their lives in this manner that we can collectively grieve. If we can collectively grieve, then maybe we can collectively heal.
“Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives”. Proverb