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The Journey & Clotilda – The Final Journey.

September 9th, 2023

I had the privilege to play a minor supporting role to artist André Henderson, during his art opening “Journey & Clotilda -the Final Journey” shown at Atlanta Mayor Andres Dickens’ Office of Cultural Affairs.  The event was organized by the GA section of ACS Minority Affairs leadership team in collaboration with curator Kevin Sipp.  The Journey depicts aspects of the kidnapping and brutal transportation of enslaved Africans, illuminating the suffering and fatalities along the way.

Artist Andre Henderson in front of a rear-view image of the Clotilda (last slave ship) on a rough sea.  The image is painted on a stitched US flag.
The Clotilda, the last slave ship, and André Henderson.

André explained his creations, and interestingly described the feelings and emotions he experienced while creating the art.  It became clear that André’s journey as an artist was directed by his intuition, and that his artistic expression may be a way for him to venerate his ancestors.  Kevin was able to speak to the ancient theology depicted in some of André’s images.  Jason Lye was able to talk about ancient colorants that were in use in Africa up to 150,000 years ago, as well as the complex coloration methodologies used by ancient Egyptians and northern Africans.

Large painting of a blue underwater scene featuring a shark following a slave ship, with a slave in shackles sinking nearby - the soul is leaving the slave body.
Ancient blue and mauve colorants from Africa.
Curator Kevin Sipp stands in front of a painting including spirit-like figures, clouds, traditional ornamental african dress.  Kevin goes into detail of African theology and how it relates to the images.
Curator Kevin Sipp explains the theological significance of André’s images.
Jason Lye stands in front of two paintings of African deities, featuring orange and yellow shades.  Jason is explaining that clay-based orange and yellow pigments and an ancient paint factory was discovered in Africa, dated 150,000 years ago.
Earth color paints made and used in ancient African caves some 150,000 years ago.
A shot of seven people.  Andre is in the center, with three people standing next to each other on either side.  In the background, some of Andre's paintings are visible, along with a banner with ACS logo on it.
André with the ACS GA section volunteers, including Laurel Royer, Nicole Morris, and Pamela Leggett-Robinson.