Wunderkammer submissions


Each page comprises one student's submission, and includes:
Object 1 first (image, ratings, text)
Object 2 (image, ratings, text)
Explanation of how those two objects relate.


Jaheda Barber

resolvable: 8
gigantic: 2
complex: 3
feminine: 2
young: 3
sticky: 5
public: 2
proprietary: 1

The remote lands of the dead were quiet and still except for the singing birds and the sobbing people. Their eyes only encompassed the burnt yellow, brown sienna and winter green of the fertilized landscape and the patches of azure, not the supernatural. The sorrowful hands of mourners brought all the flowers. Emani sought to pay respects to a loved one that passed because she still felt sorry. Her pale lilies were tossed in the uncovered grave by Emani's strong hands. Although her swollen eyes had not seen their destination into the depths of that hollowed land, the impact was certain. The African American Sacred Ancestral Cemetery of Louisiana was the resting-place for generations of her people, the Buggages. Emani grabbed the handle of the red wagon and eerie squeaks sounded. Its noise brought attention to her burden. As she walked away from the crowd, towards the other tombstones, Emani's eyes read the names, but she was unable to attach faces or sentimentality to them. It was humid and the heat made her ebony and indigo silk dress stick to your back. She wished the gray and black storm clouds had opened up the sky to give soothing rain, but nothing came forth. In the cemetery, there was a large pond on the outskirts sheltered by elderly trees. On the other side, there were more trees protected by the national park. Emani was familiar with it because of your Grandma's mythical stories of immortality. The willows hung in such a way that projected an uncanny depth to the dark purple shadows and shallow sacred waters. She was in awe of its serene cascades of warm waves that moved the miniature wooden sculptures softly adrift. These were the relics of people who sought the comforts of traditions that promised life eternal. Families that believed in the old ways commissioned these artifacts and performed ceremonies for the deceased. Emani turned 33 degrees and lifted her problem. Then, Emani cradled within her arms the sculpture of the one that would never be born. Mama Mumbo Jumbo had sanctified the object in the back woods of a forgotten town. The priestess performed incantations that gave the aborted one a place to rest. Since the soul had not reached the fetus before termination. Mama Mumbo Jumbo stated this abode was necessary because it was a long journey back to Paradise. This ensured a peaceful voyage through the heavenly seas. The small floating barge was painted with crimson to symbolize the blood of sacrifice and it was made out of straw and wood to represent fragile human life and simple tool makers. The images on the relic was the eternal one flanked by two angels on his sides. The three were seated to lie on their backs with a constant view of the heavens. Emani relinquished the burden back to God and the image rest in comfort of proximity to her Grandmama and Papu. The folk artists One Eye Open and Not Quite Home emphasized the spirits safe swift journey home with a crown of eagle feathers that projected up out the boundary of the wooden frame. The sacred piece was designed with the central figure as the axis of symmetry. The protectors on the left and right side attended the spirit during the trip back to the land of Eternity. Above the trinity were the windows to the alternative worlds. Like the windows painted a transparent color, the eyes of the three figures were always open to search for their divine abode. The triangular pattern on both sides symbolized the waves that were the vehicle of the spirits. They traveled on water, light, sound, and heat waves to Paradise because their nature was supernatural. The ambiguous gender and child like, but adult figure was to ensure that God sanctioned an alternative future for the soul. The artist worked in communal collaboration. This emphasized the collective consciousness, disavowal of authorship, and ownership because any preconceived notions of specific facial features or body type affected the soul's destiny adversely. If prepared properly, the spirit would always find refugee in this floating home for eternity.


Jaheda Barber

resolvable: 8
gigantic: 1
complex: 3
feminine: 8
young: 8
sticky: 5
public: 5
proprietary: 5

This picture is a portrait of Faith, Gertrude and Georgia Vaughn in a field of flowers. A deceased friend of the family, Charles Craft painted it. He died shortly after the suburban migration from the city. It hung in the family room above the fireplace that once belonged to whites before the flea after apartheid. The Vaughn family got reparations according to legislation passed in 2011. The special sun rays sifted through the canopy of mahogany branches and evergreen leaves to touch the horizon in diagonals. This created intangible triangular forms that crystallized in the light. A transparent image was sheltered within the strong, thick, ebony, trunk. The tree spirits hands hovered to caress the children with a blessed breeze. The being's internal aura and external sunshine adorned the wings with rainbow colored feathers. The rays illuminated their splendid paler shade of ebony and hair baubles and barrettes that were arranged by careful strong hands. The gentle crimson hand knitted sweaters and flower printed skirts cascaded around their healthy bodies. They squatted together and played with their baby sister who wore a white crocheted sleeper. The biggest twin reached to help pick up the baby while the oldest firmly stoked away the passing white kitten into the dewy green grass. The Gertrude and Georgia had wanted to have a little brother or sister for a long time. Their Mom and Dad planned a long time for the arrival of a baby. It was a blessing to have had a sister with a pleasant disposition. She hardly ever cried and was tickled by the simple antics of the twins. Gertrude and Georgia adored and admired her small, soft and round features. The baby, Faith often gurgled and laughed with a smile. Then, the twins giggled in response to the baby girl's gestures. Gertrude and Georgia were so taken by her and absorbed in her attention that they forgot the time. Now, they played girlish games and sang songs in the field sprinkled with white, pink, and red flowers. They played in this national park across the street from their home frequently. Soon Mother called them to help set the table. Father made lemonade and told childhood tales about life in the dusty mean ghetto. Dad and Mom even had carried a pass that he showed to authorities. They were fortunate children because when Daddy and Mommy were children, they could not have stayed where their family lived today. Papa wanted them to know about their history. Mamma suffered that past harsh reality, but she thought the knowledge was too disturbing for the children's delicate minds. Mamma lived with Pappa when he was an alcoholic bar attendant in a shantytown. Mommy denied his corrupt gang activity got Daddy shot in the back by the police. She said it was a violent time and many innocent people were being killed and tortured. Mommy said she had no good to say of those times and would rather say nothing at all. Mom only talked about their days of courting as young adults and not the pain and agony they lived through during the police brutality. Besides, she did not have a (physical) scar to show and tell about. Mom said the miracle of life, memory, and relearned abilities like walking again on those dirt roads changed Dad into a real good man. Pappa said that talking about those days gone helped his rehabilitation, but Mamma never talked about the difficult past. Although the silenced pain was always evidenced in Mommy's eyes when the past would come up in a conversation, Mom only talked about the "good" past, present opportunity and looked towards the future hope.


Jaheda Barber

Connection The ancestral bondage and spirit linked the two net artifacts. The woman in first group of African Americans was a descendant from captives. The second family was oppressed under an apartheid system similar to the International Slave Trade. In both the scenes, the women suffered psychological agony from past dysfunctional relationships. Their pain was not expressed, but they healed and loved themselves and others. The protagonist in the first story was a woman. The protagonist in the second story was a woman and the girls. Also, the soul of the unborn child in the story of the first relic was conceived and birthed as a baby girl into a healthy family in the portrait art narrative. Emani means faith in English. The guardian angels in the first story became the twins in the second. Both objects resided near national parks. The artifacts demonstrated an unsleeping belief in the supernatural and hopeful future. The stories behind the works of art had happy endings and were told in third person. There was an interaction and intersection between the spirit and human world (i.e., humans represented with angels, spirits, and triangular forms on the horizon and vertical) in both artifacts.