Art in Second Life 2022 (10) Harriet Tubman – Hero by London Junkers

I got an invitation from London Junkers to see his latest installation “Harriet Tubman – Hero” at The Eye Arts.
The Eyes Art is another place for the art, unknown to me until now: “an open, free and shared space where the diversities disappear. The opportunity to look at Art with multiple eyes and infinite visions in the real, dreamlike and virtual world. You are welcome to be part of it.

London adviced me turn Advanced Lighting Model on (I have that turned on always anyway) and to set my environment to sunset. But the most important hint he gave me was to read the poem at the fireplace first.
London Junker’s installions are visualisations of poems. I saw his installations “Thunderous Train Of Air” (read here) and “Marking the Twain” (read here) in 2021.

The landmark brought me directly in front of the above mentioned fireplace. It’s not just a fireplace, it looks like the center of a living room in an old luxury manor. At the right sight you find a stand with an open book – the poem.
The poem is a dedicated to the life and the work of Harriet Tubman. Those who are familiar with American history might have heard of her – I haven’t heard about her so far and looked her up on wikipedia. The entry is quite long and a lesson in history. But for the understanding of the poem and the istallation is is important to know about it.

London Junkers poem about Harriet Tubman – Hero

Harriet Tubman (1822 – 1913) was an American abolitionist and political activist. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently rescued approximately 70 enslaved people, including family and friends. During the American Civil War, she served as an armed scout and spy for the Union Army. In her later years, Tubman was an activist in the movement for women’s suffrage.

Born enslaved in Dorchester County, Maryland, Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate overseer threw a heavy metal weight at her head. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. After her injury, Tubman began experiencing strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God. These experiences, combined with her Methodist upbringing, led her to become devoutly religious.

In 1849, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia, only to return to Maryland to rescue her family soon after. Slowly, one group at a time, she brought relatives with her out of the state, and eventually guided dozens of other enslaved people to freedom. Traveling by night and in extreme secrecy, Tubman (or “Moses”, as she was called) “never lost a passenger”. After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was passed, she helped guide fugitives farther north into British North America (Canada). Tubman met John Brown in 1858, and helped him plan and recruit supporters for his 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry.

pictures taken from wikipedia

In the American Civil War she was the first woman to lead an armed expedition in the war, she guided the raid at Combahee Ferry, which liberated more than 700 enslaved people. After the war, she retired to the family home on property she had purchased in 1859 in Auburn, New York, where she cared for her aging parents. She was active in the women’s suffrage movement until illness overtook her, and she had to be admitted to a home for elderly African Americans that she had helped to establish years earlier. She became an icon of courage and freedom.
(excerpt from wikipedia entry about Harriet Tubman)

With this background and the poem London Junkers’ installation can develop it’s fascination. With just a few scenes brought together into one installation, London visualized Harriet’s life and the poem, that he wrote about her.

Impressions of “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers at The Eyes Art (1)

There is the luxury living room with the entrances to mines on it’s left and right side, that might symbolize the contrast between the lifes of the black slaves and their owners on one side of the installation. It is seperated with a huge wall from the outside. On the other side you see Harriet Tubman as a larger-than-life angelic figure with a pregant woman and two children at her feet. One child is still carrying broken chains. From the left and the right side wolfs are attacking and bullets fly through the air, symbolizing Harriet’s work rescuing other slaves and bringing them into security during the Civil war.

Impressions of “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers at The Eyes Art (2)

London Junkers’ installation “Harriet Tubman – Hero” stands against slavery, against opression and is a tribute to a real brave woman. Thank you London for this installation, for the poem and for remembering us, that nothing is a given and that everyone can make a real difference. And thank you all at “The Eye Arts” who were involved in enabling this installation. I enjoyed my visit and writing about it.

During my little research I also came across another blog entry about “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers in the artcorner blog.

Landmark to “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers at The Eye Arts
Wikipedia entry about Harriet Tubman
Artkorner blog entry about “Harriet Tubman – Hero” by London Junkers

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