The Migration Series marks a time between 1910 through 1970 when Black Americans moved from the Southern states to the Northern states of what was thought to be a better life. Emmanuel Gillespie utilizes elements of memory, history, and identity seeking in these exceptional works. The marriage of abstraction and figuration, with remnants of surrealistic gestures layered throughout provide compositions worth conversations. Each work in the Migration series enables the stories of the past to resurface through immaculate imagery and purposeful mark making.
Each work in the leisure series depicts individuals together, celebrating or enjoying time together. The looseness of figures, juxtaposed with the starkness and clarity of the backgrounds lends space for viewers to hone in on the subjects at rest. Each in their own state of contentment, the compositions provide a narrative often unseen. Gillespie provides a story of the Black family in variations of moments in time that capture a beauty of togetherness and human connectivity.
Artworks in this series employ related densities of color in an effort to revisit and reframe the past and its impact on identity. It is this mere act of remembering, for a clearer understanding of our past inevitably helps shape our present.
Works in the Melancholy series reflect upon time in moments past that emit change and reflection upon who we were and are today. The context of each work is a worldview look at the life of humanity and humankind within the perspective of knowing and understanding. With the understanding of worldview, we can not only grasp for a better world, but also a better understanding of ourselves and people at large. Brushstrokes and color palette in each of the Melancholy works of art serves to visually share the narratives of each subject in a harmonious melody of nostalgia.
The Reciprocity series transmits elements of togetherness. By humanizing the Black body through depictions of couples out and about, mothers with their children, families, couples and partners united. Blue hues throughout this series are reminiscent of the Water series prior as both series work collide as the transition from one to the other transcends the artists growth in his artistry and desire to tell a broader story of the being.
The moments when we stop to mindfully appreciate the simplicity in the waking time of day fills the composition in each work in the Early Morning series. Reflection and mindfulness are the themes that prevail in this series of solitude and the beauty within the segments of life spent alone.