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Tom Feelings (1933 - 2003)

Lot 38: Tom FEELINGS (1933 - 2003). Soul Looks Back in

Bloomsbury Auctions

December 9, 2009
New York, NY, US

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Tom FEELINGS (1933 - 2003). Soul Looks Back in Wonder. The original artwork for the published book. Comprising: 15 mixed media pieces consisting of original watercolor, charcoal, pen, ink and wash figural drawings over painted cut-paper collage (varying sizes, largest: 11 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches; 285 x 590 mm). The published book consists of 17 images, lacking here is only one piece, gifted in Feeling's lifetime and available for exhibition loan, and one minor design. Several signed, all matted, several framed. the suite of published artwork for which feelings was awarded the prestigious coretta scott king award for non-violent social change. Visible in the remarkable collages made for Soul Looks Back in Wonder is the poignant political message typical of Feeling's work. Drawing on complicated African history, he writes, For four hundred years African creativity has been struggling to counter the narrow constraints of oppression, to circle it, turn it around, to seek order and meaning in the midst of chaos. My soul looks back in wonder at how African creativity has sustained and how it still flows Yet, Today-the present-is a dangerous place for children of African descent ... too many teenagers are growing up in an environment where indifference and hostility and bullets aimed straight at the core of their spirits (Tom Feelings, introduction to Soul Looks Back in Wonder). Critical attention is focused on education, adolesence, history and the African landscape from the outset. The book's cover depicts two children facing a stack of two books, a key above them poised to unlock the world of learning. The illustration used for the endpapers represents knowldege entering the mind, as a young man steps forward. Alongside Eugene B. Redmond's poem Boyz n Search of Their Souler System, Feelings presents two boys drawing out a street gameboard that puts war directly in between Ethiopia, South Africa, Nigeria and the U.S.A. Other representations of young people reading, writing, and turning hard glares back at the viewer. The intention of Soul Looks Back in Wonder was to pair feelings' artwork with poetry contributions are by langston hughes, margaret walker, and maya angelou, who writes, I love the book and the look of words/ the weight of ideas that popped into my mind/ I love the tracks/ of new thinking in my mind.

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