|Title||Wade in the Water|
|Subtitle||A study of spiritual beauty in times of bondage|
|Artist / Creator||Arlyn Johnson|
|Artist's Nationality||United States|
|Place of Publication||Patagonia, AZ|
|Structure / Binding||Flag book|
|Medium / Materials||Original song lyric pages from 1930's Negro Spiritual songbook, mint vintage stamps, vintage ephemera and illustrations, antique lock, key and chain, silver "notes," ink, pastels, natural cotton branch, encaustic medium|
|Paper Stock||Watercolor paper, handmade papers|
|Number of Pages||18 (front and back) pages|
|Dimensions (WxHxD)||6 x 7.34 x 1 inches. Extends out to 17 inches|
|Signed & Numbered||Yes|
I grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City as a young white girl in the late 50's and 60's. My parents wanted to be a part of race relations change and our family attended an all black church in the downtown inner city for nearly 20 years. During that time, I sang in the choir; The Shalom Singers which became well known throughout the region for singing Negro Spirituals. Wade in the Water was one of these and the inspiration for this book 40 years later. The spirituals often contained clues to help guide the slaves on their journey north on the Underground Railroad. This song warns them to cross streams and rivers to ward off the bloodhounds on their trail and makes hidden reference to their plight through lyrics relating to the Bible. The music and lyrics of Wade in the Water remind us that this story and other stories of profound spiritual beauty during times of bondage are sadly still being experienced and that there is much work to be done before we can say "the end."
Artist BioArlyn Johnson is a mixed media artist from the southern border of Arizona where she lives on a historic ranch. Her artwork is primarily comprised of encaustic collage incorporating foreign text, ink, pastels, handmade papers and antique ephemera taking the form of handmade books. banners and paintings. Arlyn studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and has expanded her knowledge and skills through classes, workshops and personal exploration for twenty years. Her inspiration comes from her work as a project manager for a natural wetland and her varied experiences living, working and traveling in Mexico, Europe, Asia and other faraway places. Arlyn currently is exhibiting an encaustic collage banner at the Tohono Chul Gallery in Tucson, Arizona.