Artist DetailsName: Leo Twiggs
Artwork DetailsDate of Work: 1997
Period: 20th Century
Medium: batik and mixed media on board
Dimensions: 24 x 18 inches
Credit: Museum purchase
Born in the Lowcountry town of St. Stephen, South Carolina in 1934, Twiggs studied art at Claflin College in Orangeburg and went on to earn a Masters degree from New York University and a doctorate in art education from the University of Georgia. In 1964 he began his thirty-four year teaching career at South Carolina State University. A year later he began experimenting with batik, an ancient wax-resist method of dyeing textiles. He was attracted to the medium for its rich tradition and improvisational nature. Much of his work explores family history, cultural heritage, and how the past is manifest in contemporary life.
Sarah Remembered pays homage to Twiggs’s great-grandmother. Though the artist never met his great-grandmother, he drew upon family stories and his imagination to create a likeness of Sarah as a young girl. Twiggs combined the image with objects Sarah may have owned, such as a rubber ball or a piece of quilt. He tried to imagine how this young girl, who was born a slave and freed at age seven, would have looked, felt and played. The result is a work of art that speaks to the power of memory as a means of personal expression.