maliI am delighted to participate this month in a new show entitled Continuum: Gender Identities at The Ridgefield Guild of Artists. The Guild is excited to announce that it will be mounting a national exhibition entitled Continuum: Gender Identities, opening April 30, 2011, through June 3. This exhibition, curated by artist Nancy Moore, parent of a transgender son, will be a powerful exploration of how artists choose to depict gender in their work: from traditional images of masculine and feminine, to work that bends or questions the role of female and male.

I am entering one flag from my E Pluribus series of US flags that celebrate diversity. As an immigrant from England I am particularly moved by the ways so many diverse people thrive together in harmony. I’ve submitted this piece because of its focus on the celebration of marriage. Representing the Mali people, this flag is made from very long thin strips of hand-loomed fabric typically made into blankets for a Fulani wedding. These blankets, up to 15 feet long, may be hung on a wall, over the bed, or as a room partition. They may also function as a mosquito net. The beads are made in the Czech Republic and originally were used as trade beads but soon became part of the Fulani wedding tradition, probably because of their colorful and festive appearance. My artistic mission is to use the symbol of the US flag to celebrate the cultural diversity and freedom of expression of the people in the United States and to emphasize the concept of our beautifully conceived US motto: E Pluribus, Unum (Out of Many, One). In the context of this exhibit, I am delighted to express a further subtlety of our E Pluribus, Unum motto highlighted by this flag: the idea that two genders become one within the form of marriage.

I hope to see you there at the opening celebration on Saturday, April 30th from 6- 9PM.
Ridgefield Artists Guild is located at: 34 Halpin Lane, Ridgefield CT 06877