What's the Painting "St. Helena" About?
SPOILER ALERT: Don't watch this if you'd rather not know exactly what this painting is about.
What is the painting "St. Helena" about?
Another video dedicated to talking about your art on video. You can learn more about this topic in my interview with Marcus Sheridan at passionatepainterpodcast.com/episode58.
According to Marcus, some people are very interested in the meaning behind the art.
About "St. Helena"
St. Helena is about the Gullah, African Americans who live in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina and Georgia.
The region includes both the coastal plain and the Beaufort Sea Islands and the coastal plain. The largest group of enslaved Africans brought into Charleston and Savannah came from the rice-growing region of West Africa.
Enslaved farmers from the “Rice Coast” of Africa were brought in to cultivate the low country, taking advantage of the semi-tropical climate to plant rice fields in the American South.
The Gullahs were successful in preserving their African cultural and linguistic heritage more than any other African-American community in the United States.
At the start of the Civil War, the union army headed to the region to blockade Confederate shipping. The white planters on the Sea Islands abandoned their plantations, fleeing to the mainland, leaving the Gullah slaves behind.
Union forces arrived on the Sea Islands in 1861 to find the Gullah people eager to fight for their freedom. Many Gullahs did just that, serving with distinction in the Union Army’s First South Carolina Volunteers.
Beaufort South Carolina’s Sea Islands were the first place in the South where slaves were freed. Today, the Gullah people continue to preserve and share their heritage through cultural festivals in the Lowcountry.
St. Helena is the name of an island in South Carolina’s Lowcountry region. But for me, it is the name of the subject of the painting as well, as a symbol of the strength and dignity of the Gullah people.