My photography-based abstraction titled “Oppression” is one of 10 works on display in the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana.
It is part of River City Art Association’s March exhibit that illustrates many of the themes in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel “Beloved” by Toni Morrison, the 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read selection.
“Beloved” centers around Sethe, a runaway slave who kills her infant daughter to save her from a life of slavery, and the malevolent spirit of baby Beloved, who returns 18 years later to haunt her mother.
“Oppression” illustrates a couple of scenes in the novel and the movie, “Beloved,” starring Oprah Winfrey as Sethe.
Nightmares of Schoolteacher holding the reins of power over Sethe and her children.
Schoolteacher rides up on his horse in Cincinnati and Sethe, driven by the fear of capture and returning to the horrors she experienced at Sweet Home in Kentucky, believes her children are better off dead. She succeeds in killing her oldest baby girl.
Haunted by her dead baby girl Beloved 18 years later, and deranged by grief and guilt, the horrors of slavery resurface in a daymare, again driving Sethe to destructive desperation. Sethe mistakes Mr. Bodwin – an abolitionist from town driving a team of horses – for Schoolteacher, and tries to kill him.