"The Rebirth of Humanity" ~ subtitled, "Waiting for the World to Change" came through like a foretelling. A minimal white outline on a black canvas. Simply an egg shape at first, but I was aware of the representation of the womb referenced in a speech I had recently heard, which deeply affected me, by Sikh-American activist, Valerie Kaur. She describes her fear of raising a “brown” child, a boy of Indian decent and Sikh faith, in America today. She asks , “What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead, but waiting to be born?"
In my artistic interpretation, the humans are "incubating", shedding their color-determining skin cells until only the violet light of God shines through. Violet being the color of the seventh or "crown" chakra, which represents the connection to Source/ God. The conversion to the universal skin tone also illustrates the blending of red, white, and blue... the colors of America truly becoming the “melting pot” we claim to be. But for so many, our sameness as human beings and the fact that we are creations from the same Source Energy is blocked from view by the color we wear on the outside, which determines nothing about what is inside each of us.
In the middle of creating this statement piece, a violent tragedy occurred that made it all too real. My dear friend since 5th grade, Tony McAllister, lost his youngest daughter, Ayana, to a random shooting in Washington DC. This beautiful young college student, with a shining list of accomplishments and a path full of potential, was senselessly gunned down for no other reason but being in a place where someone didn’t recognize the souls in front of them, or the light of their own soul for that matter.
Working through grief for my friend, anger at ignorance and hatred, sadness for the loss of such promising contributor, and disappointment for the world we live in, it became clear that this painting’s message was a prayer for change in the humanity that failed Ayana and so many other innocent people, and I knew then that this painting must be dedicated to her.
In the days following, I watched Tony and his heartbroken wife, Tyreese, raise a torch of light in the deepest darkness and vow that their daughter will not have died in vain. When their mission began, I knew that I had to help them raise awareness and use this painting to generate funds to support their crusade.
I immediately began to connect with Ayana and bring her energy and her intention into the completion of the painting. The emotions of the people became more expressively defined.The ideal humans birthing into the ideal society. Though some were still asleep, in fear, in grief, in despair, and anger on the inside; the hope of harmony and inclusion was waiting for them beyond the confines of their collective pain.
This concept speaks in direct response to the conditions that took Ayana's life. Who are we as a society where people are in danger at innocent social gathering? Who are we to have created and have access to rapid firing weapons? What are the human conditions to provoke attack without provocation? Who are we as a species to lack care, concern, or compassion for the lives of others? Can we expect more from human beings and how we exist in a society? What IF this darkness is actually a womb where we are waiting to be reborn??
In my effort to support the awakening of more consciousness on a community level , I have created specially designed prints that will support the Ayana McAllister Legacy Foundation. Find out about more events honoring Ayana and supporting communities impacted by gun violence through advocacy and educational strategies at www.ayanamcallister.com . Profits from the sales of this special edition print will be entirely donated to the Ayana McAllister Legacy Foundation.