Alexandria, VA [SiteSee] [2020]
Aluminum, Painted Mural [Budget 110k]
Wrought, Knit, Labors, Legacies' concept frames the history of Alexandria's enslaved and free Black communities through the lens of the city's industrial and merchant past from the 17th to 2c0th centuries. Once a prosperous port city and home to one of the largest domestic slave trading firms in the country, Alexandria was a major center for shipping and manufacturing with an economy inextricably tied to the labor of enslaved and free African-Americans.

The installation seeks to stitch Alexandria’s story together, featuring symbols that represent the city’s merchant and manufacturing history. A ground mural inspired by African American quilting and textile traditions, reflecting the importance of creative and interpretive narrative in addition to history, adorns the site. The mural features historic icons interspersed throughout abstracted “quilt blocks’. Four ornate metal profiles in the tradition of wrought iron gates, rise up from the ground mural and are surrounded by sculptural seating platforms. They all stoically face the water, imparting a sense of dignity, resistance and resilience.  During the day the installation appears colorful and iconic and each evening it is majestically illuminated in low light.

Photographs by Laura Hatcher