GULLAH CHRISTMAAS' (falla da sta)
This is the original painting that has become an iconic symbol of Gullah Culture, through its use by various organizations, and nonprofits as an illustrated depiction of life on the Sea Islands. The painting has been on display in museums, used in national campaigns, and probably one of the most collected images in print of Dunham's catalog as it is certainly her most popular.
Inspired by the performances of the Gullah Kinfolk, featuring Anita Singleton as the main character Aunt Pearlie Sue. It tells the story of how during the Christmas holiday there were more escapes due to the frivolity, and relaxed security on the plantations, as the owners encouraged the enslaved people to embrace the holiday unaware it was used to aid in the escapes. There was also the added urgency off knowing that auctions would follow at the first of the year possibly separating them from beloved family members.
The painting features the North Star Quilt hung out to air. This 'Hidden in Plain View" symbol was believed to be used in the Underground Railroad as a message to follow the star. In the painting, the featured character tells the nativity story and points to the north star in the sky, reinforced by the quilt hanging out as a sign to the knowing it's time to escape. Dunham further imagined the guitarist strumming as they all sing " Follow the Drinking Gourd" another reference to escape, 'falla da sta'.
Acrylic on Canvas 30 x 40
Collectors may contact the artist at DianeBrittonDunham@gmail.com for more information. Financing and payment arrangements available: DianeBrittonDunham@gmail