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Images of the New World

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spacer These collages explore Columbus’ marvel at the lushness and beauty of what he encountered upon his arrival in the New World and only hint at the tragedy which was to come from European contact with its native people.

In the piece “Kind and Gentle People,” the blood stained muslin over Columbus’ portrait is the only indicator of a dark future as the text from his journal, dated December 25, 1492, praises the dignity and customs of the Taino Indians. Since this fateful day, the Taino suffered extinction from diseases for which they had no immunity and persecution from the Spanish explorers. They were looked upon as primitive, inferior heathens and were consequently tortured for following their own customs. We now know they were living in perfect harmony with their land embodying an exemplary ecological model we can admire.

“Unexpected Occurrence” refers to the perils of the voyage and includes images of imaginary sea monsters, ship, map and nautilus shell as well as the cactus found in this strange and unforeseen land.

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