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Feeling Freedom: an intimate sensory exhibit by Tanya Matthews

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Join us for FEELING FREEDOM: the enchanted art object, an intimate sensory exhibit experience that explores the rich and dynamic space of memory and repair in the afterlife of the Atlantic Slave Trade. Inspired by Gullah Geechee folklore surrounding the Legacy of Igbo Landing, this collection of works centers on Charleston, South Carolina, known as both the Holy City and Capital of Slavery in the United States.  How do we continue to move, to feel, to love… to dream freedom when we are also holding what is heavy? How do we make meaning, make repairs and find resolution?

A spectral ethnography, this exhibit illuminates the tension between 'absence' and 'presence' that we must navigate when inheriting ancestral freedom dreams, and those mysterious sensations associated with ancestral callings. Conjuring memories of place along the estuarine landscape of the coastal southeastern sea islands, Afro-latina descendant, Artist and Ethnobotanist Tanya J. Matthews will guide us through a creative journey that reveals connections between art, identity and healing in the African Diaspora. Offering an invitation for guests to participate in intentional wish-making, this will prompt introspective reflection and collective response.

The exhibition is organized into 4 curated selections:

Together we will bring forward our own stories of discovering what the feeling of freedom truly means to us….engaging with(in) art as resistance and establishing stronger connections to the muse. 

Tanya received her Masters in Visual Anthropology with a focus in Art Therapy at the University of Southern California and has since completed residencies with National Geographic Society and Special Collections at the College of Charleston. Recent group exhibitions include Meet Me Under the Stars, National Geographic Society, Washington, D.C, 2022; Voices of Southern Hospitality: An Oral History, College of Charleston, South Carolina, 2018; Freedoms Gained and Lost, Special Collections at the College of Charleston, 2017.

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