Equality, A Work in Progress, 2020

Mixed Media

Jute Twine and Jute Ribbons

40.00 x 60.00 in

101.6 x 152.4 cm

Unique Work

This work comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.


About The Work

In 1920, after years of struggle, women gained the right to vote. The journey to enfranchisement was extremely difficult and has to be viewed in the context of the societal conventions of the time. The Suffragist Movement, which led that journey, had its struggles and internal divisions, but their achievement was monumental. This piece seeks to pay homage to that journey while giving voice to those left out of the achievement.

The clasped weaving was chosen to represent the movement’s struggles, the advances and setbacks, the alliances and the divisions, and the groups left marginalized: while black men were enfranchised under the 15th Amendment and women under the 19th Amendment, women of color could not exercise their fundamental right until the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The materials chosen for this piece are jute and jute ribbons due to their strength and resistance, resembling the suffragettes’ own.

The colors chosen were the suffragettes' own: purple for dignity, green for hope, and white for purity (later green was replaced by yellow). The natural color of jute symbolizes the natural rights we all have as human beings.

The struggle for true equality has progressed in America, to be sure, but in 2020 I believe equality remains a work in progress.–Debra Rosenthal

Courtesy of The Contemporary Art Modern Project

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