In the U. S. many slaves were safely carried to freedom. This monumental undertaking has virtually gone unnoticed. Over the past seven years this has been the subject of my work.
The viewer will find no noted heroes of the traditional kind. Those who play the role of hero and heroine in these works are the men and women who risked their lives and the lives of their families to preserve the UGRR. Each painting helps to memorialize a dangerous occupation that played a crucial role in the advancement of American society. In an ever changing and developing era these artworks are the chronicles of an almost silent part of history.
My research began in 2003 and in May of 2004 I followed the routes on which Tubman took passengers to freedom. Forever etched in my memory are an infinite number of untold stories of individuals who toiled tirelessly to attain freedom. Many events were recounted to me by noted historians, genealogists and descendants while I traveled through, Maryland, Delaware, New York, and Canada; retracing the steps of many who went before me on this route to freedom. The wealth of personal experiences and detailed information I obtained is the foundation of this series or artworks.
Striving to create dramatic compositions to portray the intensity of each moment is an ongoing goal. The life Tubman, Douglass and others chose was one of uncertainty. Every moment could have been their last. They carried on undaunted and these are the ideas that I strive to portray in this series. Figures are tugging and heaving, hoisting and dragging. Figures depict the mental, emotional, and physical prowess needed to succeed on the UGRR.
I want the viewer to share both the positive and negative experiences of freedom seekers, their families, masters and passengers on the UGRR. My aim? To give a candid portrayal of the enormous effort that went into changing the tides of history for the African-American.