Ifé Franklin is an artist of great talent and immense integrity. Her art examines the life of the enslaved and the artistic production of Adire textile making. Her current work, the Indigo Project, involves the creation of a wooden structure resembling an 8′ slave cabin which over the course of the exhibition, will completely covered inside and outside with Aso Adire (indigo textile).
Tell us about the inspiration for your Indigo Project. The Indigo Project came about because I wanted to honor my enslaved ancestors. I wanted to honor every aspect of their being, as they lived and perished and created a “space” for me to be here.
How did you learn the resist dye technique of Adire? I studied the techniques Adire while attending The School Of The Museum Of Fine Arts Boston. I studied with Master Adire Dyer, Mr. Stanley Pinckney.
What is the most surprising response you’ve had to your work? That many people do not understand that “tie and dye” did not originate in the 60’s with the hippies and the Grateful Dead. Most people do not know the history and origins of this art form.
If there were a song written about you, what would it be titled? And who would perform it? The song would be entitled Keeper Of The Flame. It would be sung by Nina Simone.
What are you currently reading? The most recent book I have read is Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson.
What artist’s work inspires you but is nothing like your own? Writers and singers inspire me a lot…. the WAY they can BEND a phrase and command you to feel something…there is nothing like it.
The unauthorized biography of your life is titled: The unauthorized biography of your life is titled: Bloodlines. Art. History. Connection. Truth and Love.
Ifé Franklin’s Indigo Project is currently on exhibit through November 22nd at the Spoke Gallery @Medicine Wheel Productions, 110 K Street, 2nd floor, in South Boston. The closing reception is November 22, from 7pm til 10pm. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
For more with Ifé, read the Boston Globe interview.
Image credit: The first image ( Ifé and the cabin) were take by Derek Lumpkins Photography. The other 2 images are by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo.