In January 2011, I was awarded an artist fellowship from the Sacatar Foundation, for a two month residency on the jungle island of Itaparica, in the bay that gives the Brazilian state of Bahia its name. Bahia is the center of the African Diaspora in Brazil: some five million Africans were kidnapped and pressed into slavery there, several times the number brought into the U.S. - and the ever-flourishing evolution of the cultures they brought with them provides Bahia with much, perhaps most, of its vigor and beauty. During my residency I sought a way to portray the people I met in an historical context. Fortuitously, I had brought with me the disassembled, fraying pages of a long-ago-acquired antiquarian book,
O Brasil Holandês, by Gaspar Barléu: a 1940 republication of an 17th century text documenting the Dutch empire of Brazil.
Here, then, was my context, and these are my works: