Hollie Davis

New Awakening
acrylic on watercolor paper
24 x 18 in.

Dear Earth,

My piece discusses the appropriation of natural resources by capitalist imperialist history specifically Europe taking advantage of Africa and its diaspora’s natural resources. The greenery represents the historical abuse of natural resources similar to how people of color were and continue to be treated. The background represents common decorative and architectural elements of the renaissance. They are in the background because they represent all the buildings and architecture that were built because of deforestation. Particularly the male figure represents societies turning their back on the environmental impacts of ‘progress’. The prominent figure is an adaptation of Marie Guillemine Benoist renaissance painting ‘portrait of a negress’ she symbolizes the consumption of natural resources and humans themselves throughout history. In essence my painting symbolizes the rape of the natural world as metaphorical to the treatment of people of African descent. My work deals with issues of identity and realized that theme through alternative styles of painting. I chose acrylic on paper because it is a modern approach to a traditional method of painting. My subjects all came from the past so I paint in a way that is clearly of the 21st century. I want to create tension between the relationship of past and present.

© Hollie Davis