Farida Hughes, “All the River Carries”, 26 x 42″
All the River Carries, Oil on canvas, 26 x 42”, 2008
9/6/17 Update – We are pleased to share that 100% of the sale of this painting will be donated to the Philando Castile Memorial Scholarship Fund. Thank you to all who worked to support this effort.
All the River Carries is an abstract expression of the cleansing, healing, and sustaining power of the metaphoric river of life. It was painted at a time when I was using natural forms such as leaves, petals, pods, and shapes of birds, to show objects moving along in unison or in groupings. I was moved by the rich symbolism available in themes of water, wind, and air. The painting either flows from top to bottom, as one follows a path of life, or from bottom to top alluding to an uplifted feeling of shedding one’s feathers and letting go. The bird on the bottom right corner is watching, as an overseer, or a witness, to all that this river is bringing along. Memories and celebrated moments of a life are conducted, cleansed, and carried along a directional path as the river propels on. The composition actually contains two groups of forms, one acting as an echo or shadow of the other: as a memory it is slightly imperfect and punctuated, yet it emphasizes the presence of the other more dominant grouping of forms in the painting.
As an artist, I am deeply aware that I am part of a community of others who live, work and interact with each other in the same spaces, and I offer a unique contribution as part of that community. Communities share joyful moments as well as sorrowful ones, and though events happen and choices are made that can’t be taken back, as part of this community in St. Paul I feel compelled to act in ways in which I am personally able to help turn adversity into positive results. We all move together in this metaphoric river of life. We cannot erase the events that shape and maneuver us, but we can find ways together to move forward, one stroke at a time. A strong way to help positively affect change is through education. When I learned that Central High Foundation was putting initiative into a new scholarship fund I wanted to be a part of that effort to send another student to school. I am eternally grateful for the advantages that have been offered my own children and wish to pay it forward through the means that I have. The funds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Philando Castile Scholarship Fund. I hope to find a partner who is moved to acquire a piece of art that they will love, and compelled enough to be a part of this effort.