“Don’t mess up the roux.”
The exhibition featured several different types of traditional and non-traditional printmaking processes, all within the storytelling framework of the analogy of a roux to a good gumbo.
Just as a good roux (a warm mixture of flour and fat) is an essential element of a good soup, so, too, is the African American matrilineal story at the heart of American culture.
The pieces combine graphics, illustration, textiles, and found materials to touching and thought-provoking effect. Women and family are predominant throughout and invite consideration into the identity and history of those faces.
Artist Lovie Olivia describes the inspiration behind the project as “Like recipes and stories are inherited, altered and passed down from generation to generation by granny-to-auntie-to-daughter-to-cousin-to-sister, so are traditional craft techniques, beauty codes, symbols, beliefs, rituals and practices. We wish to offer a contemporary take on the hand-made and the art of storytelling through printmaking, both traditional and nontraditional. In the interest of honoring our ancestors, we bend, stir, mix and alter that that has been given to us.”
We’re heartened to know that this collection will continue to simmer in book form long after the individual pieces themselves are taken down.
Have a look at the book preview to see more of the work featured in this exhibition or pick up your own copy of the entire 100-page book in the Blurb Bookstore.