Matthew Day Jackson
Harriet (Last Portrait)
Woodburned drawing, yarn, aniline dye, mother of pearl, abalone & black panther eyes on wood panel
243.8 x 182.9 cm
Matthew Day Jackson’s Harriet (Last Portrait) monumentalises the image of a black woman on a large oval panel. Working with the artisan techniques of wood-burning and precious stone inlaying, Jackson’s drawing alludes to both antique religious icons and the tradition of folk-craft. Coloured with aniline dye, a pigment used for staining fabric, and the collaged application of yarn, Jackson’s drawing conveys a stunning vivacity, offering a portrait of heroism that frames American cultural history with futuristic promise.