Visit the Crossings Gallery to see the artwork in-person from April 18–May 20.
Inspired by the Haitian proverb kouri lapli, tonbe larivyè—or "running in the rain, falling in the river"—this exhibition explores the epic journey many people make from Haiti to the U.S. in search of a better life.
Suley Wellings-Longmore, artist and human rights lawyer, responds to last year's shocking photos from Del Rio, Texas1 where horse-mounted U.S. border police lassoed and rounded up immigrants. Through a collection of paintings and sculpture—as well as poetry by Seun Matiluko— the artwork both pays tribute to the heroic voyage, which for some people spans more than a decade and covers 7,000+ miles, and asks us to reflect on the role we play in bringing about such an appalling reality.
*Proof of COVID-19 vaccination required for entry.
Meet the Artists
Suley Wellings-Longmore is a self-taught painter and sculptor from London. He explores the contemporary Black experience in his work and believes a consequence of making a person or community invisible is that they become powerless to fight back against injustices. In this way, his art practice touches upon his legal work—studying human rights law as a current Frank Knox Memorial Fellow and LL.M. candidate at Harvard Law School.
Through a marriage of geometric abstraction and figurative styles, he roots the Black experience in the positive. He places silhouetted figures on non-objective compositions and manipulates the texture and depth of these figures to invite questions as to their place in society. Disguising figures, words, and messages as optical illusions, the images float out of the canvas—forcing a confrontation with the viewer. On his ceramic sculptures, he experiments with iridescent glazes to invite the observer to reflect on what the visibility and representation of Black bodies mean to them.
Seun Matiluko is a writer and poet whose work focuses on race, law, history, and politics. She was a member of the Apples and Snakes (UK) 2021 Writing Room and has been commissioned by the BBC, the Young Poets Network (UK), the Poetry Society (UK), Girl Rising, and Blueprint for all (formerly the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust). Seun is also a current Frank Knox Memorial Fellow at Harvard Law School.