Straight ahead when you walk in the gallery door, you’re faced with the life-sized cutout portraits of Amelia Bonow, the young Seattle woman leading the #ShoutYourAbortion movement, and Dorli Rainey, the stalwart Seattle activist who was pepper-sprayed by police during Occupy Seattle in 2011, when she was 84 years old.
Each woman is posed in a protest stance. Fist up. Megaphone ready.
But their clothes and faces are muted. They wear light tan jackets matching in tone. They wear expressions not of rage or even mild upset, but of naked perseverance. Absolute determination.
Lips together, eyebrows raised, gaze straight at you, waiting for you to figure out you need to join them.
They aren’t frozen in action, as heroes of activism can be captured in news photographs, but rather standing still, breathing calmly, fixed in their convictions. They’re the enduring spirit that motivates activism, not its moment of outburst.
Their backdrop is another painted photograph from Seattle, of the brick wall at the Union Gospel Mission in Pioneer Square. It’s muted tan, too, its own monument of quiet endurance. The city is the character NTG addresses: You still feel like home, despite how much you disappoint, strand, hurt, even kill.
These women might be shamed and attacked but they won’t be persuaded it’s time to give up.
No Touching Ground is the artist who made the portraits, as part of his show You Still Feel Like Home at Glass Box Gallery. Last night, he led a tour through the show, and Rainey was present, wearing the same tan trenchcoat she does in her cutout portrait. NTG arranged and shot the photographs, cut them out and mounted them to stand, and overpainted them using watercolor. Read more…
Posted In: News About Dorli