St. Louis has a wealth of abandoned materials. Forgotten houses hold the memories of those that inhabited them. The love that was experienced there shines through the pain that the broken boards and burned bricks suggest. Through Reclamation I revitalized this beauty, capturing the essence and amplify the energy in the forgotten to call forth its dormant pulchritude. By reclaiming abandoned physical materials, we reclaim the conceptual debris of our histories. In the work of reclamation we call forth a future of collaboration rather than segregation. The work brought people together to realize that we all come from the same place and in turn know that the struggles that face each group individually affect all groups of people collectively.
The Reclamation Project emphasized the value of lessons provided by the heritage of artists, musicians, and change agents that lit the lanterns illuminating our dark path towards freedom. The project honors those individuals and communities that crafted the culture we were born into. Damon Davis, a talented local artist and musician, created visual works and composed the accompanying Reclamation album; all of the samples added to his original compositions came from former St. Louis native musicians; from East St. Louis gospel groups to Miles Davis, there was a conscious search to reclaim our musical history. I collaborated with Eric White, St. Louis poet and lyricist, to create a verbally reflective response to the concepts at work. Eric wrote lyrics to enhance Damon’s music and we both published poetry from the project in the St. Louis Black Pages that reflected our experiences of living, growing up, and working in St. Louis.'
Listen to the audio element of the Reclamation project here.