“RUGGED WAYS (EXPLAIN FREEDOM) – #1,” “THE PATH (DOES IT EXPLODE?) – #3,” “DO YOU HEAR THE ECHOES (STAY WOKE) – #2” & “ECHOES (DREAMS ARE SWEET) – #4” (Inspired By “By Rugged Ways,” “Dreams,” “He Had His Dream,” & “When Malindy Sings” by Paul Laurence Dunbar) | Kevin Harris, Artist | Digital Images | 16” x 16”| Not For Sale
“RUGGED WAYS” and “THE PATH” are montages of images culled from the internet. The work of Bob Adelman, Robert Cohen, Richard Copley, Bruce Davidson, Abe Van Dyke, Gene Herrick, Bill Hudson, Lucas Jackson, James Karales, Spider Martin, Charles Moore, Scott Olson, Jack Thornell, Ernest Withers and others were directly appropriated or served as inspiration for these visually layered pieces. The images used in “RUGGED WAYS” were selected as visual metaphors of various lines of Dunbar’s poem, “By Rugged Ways.” Civil Rights fighters march “onward, onward” supported by “faith,” “serene” in the face of violent “cruel thorns beside the road…”
“THE PATH” uses photographs of clashes between the police, vigilante mobs and Civil Rights Freedom Fighters. Victims of brutality, those “whose backs have felt the rod, / Whose feet have pressed the path unshod…” The image is intended to be dark, chaotic and violent.
The title of “DO YOU HEAR THE ECHOES” is borrowed from a line in Dunbar’s poem, “When Malindy Sings.” The sound of Malindy singing is so beautiful it silences birds. The echoes of her vocals fill the hills and valleys. The sound of her song is something to be reckoned with. As are the words of Dunbar and King, skilled at wordplay, gifted at oration.
“ECHOES” symbolizes Paul Laurence Dunbar having a precognitive dream of Martin Luther King Jr. and Martin Luther King Jr. dreaming of the legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Read the Paul Laurence Dunbar poems that inspired this piece: “By Rugged Ways,” “Dreams,” “He Had His Dream,” “When Malindy Sings”