“In this work I hope to bring humanity to portraiture in reference to formerly enslaved bodies.” - Sheldon Scott
CONNERSMITH is pleased to offer a select look at new digital prints by Sheldon Scott: "Abide in Me", "Eucharist (1619)" and "Our Alms to America (1619)" (from Portrait, no.1 man (day clean ta sun down)). In these works, Scott restores humanity to the narrative of slavery in the American South. Using his own body, the artist creates portraits of his ancestors, enslaved West Africans who for centuries worked the land of the Gullah Geechee costal region. Set in the rice fields where his ancestors were enslaved, Scott endured a typical workday from sun-up to sun-down where he hulled and winnowed rice by hand, one grain at a time.
Scott’s 12-hour video "Portrait, no. 1 man (day clean ta sun down)" is currently featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s traveling exhibition: The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today opening at the Kempner Museum, Kansas City, MO, September 2021 and on view through August 22, 2021 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA.
Sheldon Scott (b. 1976, Pawley’s Island, SC) mines his experiences growing up in the Gullah/Geechee South and professional background in storytelling to examine the Black male form with particular emphasis on biases of usability and expendability in relation to constructs of race, economics and sexuality. The artist’s works have been presented at the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; American University Art Museum, Washington, DC; and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC (collection); and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA (collection).
“We are all in desperate need of healing. We all are in desperate need of a fearless self-evaluation. We all are in desperate need of the structure to be able to empathize and understand the human condition as is relates to all of us, and also what it means to bring about a personal infrastructure of accountability. That’s the foundation on which all of my creative practices are built.” - Sheldon Scott