On display through April 30, conceptual artist Natasha “Tashi” Marin’s installation at Vermillion features the third in a series of “mothers” she’s created, comprising 15 textile pieces of African Ankara, kente, and tribal cloth that highlight the breadth and diversity of African textiles. The name is a nod to psychologist Harry Harlow’s Wire Mother experiments on rhesus monkeys in the 1930s, wherein he substituted the babies’ mothers with wire or cloth dolls. Instead, Marin has built three mothers to honor her ancestors: a plant mother from plants she nurtured during the pandemic, a lamp-headed mother named Russum made of Black joy (from Marin’s 2018 Black Imagination: Ritual Objects exhibition), and the colorful cloth mother that’s the focus of this exhibit. This seems like a major improvement upon Harlow’s concept, in our opinion.
by Meg van Huygen
Opens Thursday, April 7, 2022. 5 pm Second Thursday Artwalk: April 14, 6-9 pm
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