(Harriet Tubman’s $20 bill)
Bradbury Art Museum, Jonesburo 2020
Installation consisting of one double-sided bill and a wad of 36 small bills. Technique: Intaglio and dry-point etching on 11 plates: steel, copper and acetate. Sugar lift, hard and soft ground, printed on Zerkall Artrag 300 gr. Limited edition of four installations.
Dimensions: height 42 ½” x width 19 ¼” (108 cm x 49 cm)
Small bills cut from large print: 7 1/16” x 3 1/8” (18 cm x 8 cm)
This is one version, my version, of the twenty-dollar bill honouring Mrs. Harriet Tubman. The design of the real bill, the project carried out by the US Treasury Department, was to be unveiled to the public in 2020. The Trump administration halted the project when he was in office. I hope that the image chosen for the final version of the bill will portray her with the full dignity that she deserves.
Tubman as visionary
Harriet Tubman was a visionary. She had the 20/20 vision that is unfortunately still necessary today.
The piece portrays scars upon scars – scarred skin, scarred earth, scarred society. The forest is a haven and an ally. Broken chains, crushed barbed wire, Northern stars, maps, bullets, teeth, tracks.
I used a blue ink for the night of the forest which I made with an indigo pigment grown in my village in France. The red was evident to scream out the words IN SHE WE TRUST. A COUNTRY TO BREATHE IN.
When I pulled the print, I could see the Union colors but this was not at all pre-meditated. The making of the entire piece was a visceral process for me and something that I felt I owed to her since my childhood.
Installation at Bradbury Art Museum
Tubman’s 20/20. Installation
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