About that first all-white version: it is not going to be trashed. I have a plan: I’m going to print it out and sew it, AND the second version, AND a third version which is still percolating in my mind. All three will be displayed as a triptych. I think. It should only take a few years to sew them all…..
But on that second version - I can’t integrate the center and just leave the outer ring totally segregated. The spinners and weavers on the edge have to be redone as well. Google Images has a wealth of Medieval prints showing (white) women spinning (with their distaffs, below,) weaving and sewing:
But dear god it is not easy to find vintage images of any other racial/ethnic women similarly employed! I’ve read that DNA search sites, like 23 and Me, have mostly European genes in their files, making it difficult for non-Europeans to get accurate information. Apparently it’s the same with Google. I found a few photos in a digital historic archive (below):
I looked for images by African-American artists like Roamare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence:
A Pinterest site had vintage photos of African American women in Victorian dress(below):
By combining them with images of sewing machine & looms (below):
I was able to create a few useful images (below):
A side note: Some of you may be asking “why don’t you just draw the images you need?” Ah, well….I can’t really draw. Sure, I draw well enough to make lines indicating an oak leaf vs a maple leaf, but nothing with any style or beauty. All of my art is created by collaging other people’s images (or objects). I have no sense of color, either………OK, back to today’s post:
Then, deep down in a rabbit-hole of a Google search, I discovered the Singer Sewing Machine Trading Cards. Printed in the 1880’s, these cards show women from around the world, in traditional dress, using Singer machines:
And, yes, some of them are awfully patriarchal (below):
But they have images from all over the world - sometimes 2 from the same country! Lots of European countries, China, Ceylon, Japan, Mexico, Burma……not ONE from all of South America, and - from the entire continent of Africa - they have..(wait for it):
ZULULAND?? Zu-lu-land? really? That’s it??