is a site-specific installation created for the Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island, New York.
Passages explores the presence of the past through historical facts, family memories, and the ghosts of Snug Harbor.
Sailors who had lived and worked on the water came to die at Snug Harbor. In 1833, Snug Harbor opened as a home for aged naval and merchant seaman, many of whom worked on ships that carried slaves to the Americas. Historians believe that somewhere between 11 and 15 million people were taken from Africa and sold as slaves in the Americas, Caribbean islands, and Europe. About 600,000 slaves ended up in the United States, some to plantations on Staten Island. Slaves being brought to the "New World" often died during the "Middle Passage" across the ocean. Ships and trade routes, water and land became the metaphors for life and death.
The project is dedicated to the artist’s older brother, who at age 17, ran away from home to "Join the Navy to see the World." A few months out of boot camp, he sent home a Navy studio portrait. This image resonates with the artist and has since influenced her work.
Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System
The Project Gutenberg e-book, American Merchant Ships and sailors by Willis J. Abbot, Ray Brown (Illustrator)
Standford University Libraries & Academic Inofrmation Resources