Rhonda Urdang

Queen Victoria with Harriet Tubman as Suffra-Jette 1867 (2019)
collage: work on paper with hand-cut found paper, historical elements, NY Times, crochet, metallic ink
16 x 16 in. | $3,000

Sojourner Truth Ironing for Willie Cole 1851 (2019)
collage: work on paper with hand-cut found paper, historical elements, NY Times, crochet, metallic ink
15 x 12 in. | $3,000

Alexandria Victoria (1819-1901) was Queen of the UK of Great Britain and Ireland and later became Empress of India. During the American Civil War, abolitionist Harriet Tubman served as a spy, nurse, and cook for the Union Forces. Queen Victoria gave Tubman an ivory linen and silk royal shawl in 1867. Harriet Tubman lent her voice to the black suffrage movement in the United States, recognizing that a truly free society required not only the abolition of slavery and racism, but also of gender discrimination. Although Queen Victoria was Head of State, she held traditional views about separate spheres for men and women and opposed women voting and running for public office. However, her young daughters were more progressive and supported the women’s suffrage movement, with expansion from England to America.

In 1851, Sojourner Truth defended women’s rights and Negroes’ rights at a women’s convention in Akron, OH. By 1866 the American Equal Rights Association joined causes of black suffrage and women’s suffrage in the U.S. The Yoruba regard Olodumare as the principle agent of creation. According to the Yoruba account of creation, during a stage in this process, the “truth” was sent to confirm the habitability of the newly formed planets. According to Kola Abimbola, the Yoruba have evolved a robust cosmology. It holds that all human beings possess what is known as “Ayanmo” (destiny, fate) and are expected to eventually become one in spirit with Olodumare.

The thoughts and actions of each person in Aye’ (the physical realm) interact with all living things, including the Earth itself. Each person attempts to achieve transcendence and find their destiny in Orun-Rere (the spiritual realm of those who do good and beneficial things) e.g. like ironing for Willie Cole.

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© Rhonda Urdang