Gallery > Terciopelo

Terciopelo Installation I, 2014-16
Terciopelo Installation I, 2014-16
Mixed Media: velvet, embroidered thread surface with fabric trimming and embedded loose herbs
variable dimensions

Terciopelo is a creation myth series that uses collage, appliqué, and embroidery techniques to create textile wall hangings and wearable garments. The series draws its symbols and imagery from the Grenadian masquerade ritual of Jab Jab. The Carnival day begins with J’ouvert, a procession of people who display their racial pride by covering their skin in the rich blacks of molasses, burnt cane, and grease. They carry chains, ropes, and serpents to honor the survival of enslaved and oppressed ancestors. The ritual takes place at daybreak, a time when the living and dead can exchange energy. This public ritual conjures the energy needed to bring order and balance to society.

This imagery combined with lush material references the tapestries and prints that one might remember from their family home; the works use embellished sensorial materials to recall childhood and ancestral memories. Black velvet evokes the molasses, burnt cane, and grease Jab Jab masqueraders used to adorn their bodies. The color palette of black, gold, and red, symbolizes Black pride, spirituality, royalty, power, and freedom.