Artist Statement: Ode to Grady Baby Blues visualizes the rich history of Atlanta’s long running public hospital through archival imaging and symbols. Grady Memorial Hospital has been part of Atlanta since 1892 and was founded to care for the city’s low-income families. Through rapidly changing times, from segregation to integration, new construction and financial precarity, Grady has been a mainstay. It is now the city’s only level 1 trauma center as well as part of a larger network of care facilities connected to Emory and Morehouse medical schools. Its impact is far reaching. As an artist, I was curious on how to create an animation that could reflect this proliferation of care and life. I turned to the image of wild blue indigo (a native Georgia plant) which symbolizes healing, endurance, and resilience, a perfect representative of Grady’s legacy.
we are violet wild blue indigo grady babies grady babies grady babies everywhere we go
Angela Davis Johnson is a community-informed, interdisciplinary visual artist. Her work is rooted in Black Southern traditions, migration, and care. She is a member of Alternate Roots and a Joan Mitchell/Visual Arts Scholars alum. She co-created Hollerin Space, an interactive archival performance with partner muthi reed. Her work has been exhibited widely and extensively which includes front porches, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Mississippi Museum of Art, and Mint Gallery. The mother of two has deep roots in the South and continues to create while migrating and maintaining a studio in Philadelphia and Atlanta.