Ashes to Ashes. Shirley Ann Whitaker.
Ashes to Ashes.
Ashes to Ashes.
(Black Lives)

Ashes to Ashes.

Whitaker, Shirley Ann (illus.)

Connecticut River Valley, MA: SAW Press, 2018. Octavo. (22)ff. One of fifty copies, signed by the artist, Shirley Ann Whitaker. Ashes to Ashes was originally a performance piece held in 2016, in which Whitaker organized the first-ever funeral service to commemorate and mourn the thousands of African Americans who have been lynched and denied their last rites. Whitaker then worked with printer Michael Kuch to create the present edition. The work begins with an order of service for the 2016 performance, set over an etching of a stained glass window. Then follow the eulogy, headed by an etching depicting a Black face emerging from (or disintegrating into) nooses; “Obituary: An Overdue Tribute to the Unburied & Terrorized” by Marisha Clinton and Whitaker; and portraits and obituaries for six victims, who are identified by both their names and their occupations. The volume closes with an embossed coffin, on which is printed the final words of the funeral service. A profound, wrenching work, bound in gray paper over boards. It is accompanied by a broadside on which is printed a tree and the names of the thousands murdered by lynching. This is held in a chemise on which is printed “As Long As You Speak My Name I Will Live Forever.”

Whitaker is a protégé of Leonard Baskin, from whom she learned printmaking and etching. She is deeply devoted to serving the underserved in her community, using her standing as a medical doctor and an artist to advocate for Black women artists and entrepreneurs, Black children in Amherst, MA schools, and most recently for residents of western Massachusetts and beyond in need of education on the COVID pandemic via a Facebook Live health program. All materials housed in a gray dropback box. Fine. Item #30232

Price: $3,750.00

By This Author: