Portfolio > Reliquaries

Reliquary for Wherever They Wash the Color Clothes
Reliquary for Wherever They Wash the Color Clothes
Mixed Media
11” x 12” x 3”

Someone told me this story: In 1964, before I was born, my mother walked down a New Orleans street with my then seven year-old sister in hand. As they passed a Laundromat, my sister read the signs in the windows. She was just learning about the household chore of separating clothes according to color: whites without colors, so bleach could make them whiter, and colors together, so the dyes wouldn’t bleed. Reasoning with youthful thinking that in this place one only washed clothes that were white, she asked my mother, “Where do they wash the colors?”

Upon hearing this tale, I imagined a beautiful place where color clothes could be washed, outdoors, with sea and sky, free from the confines of a Main Street building. This piece is a reliquary to that last moment of childhood innocence before the realization of the adult constructs of racial discrimination.