Gift of the artist and Nicole Edwards
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Statement by Maria Hinds, on her artistic response to Nicole Edwards’ experience: “The Perilous Fight” invites the viewer to experience spaces in which Nicole Edwards lived and worked through the challenges of drug dependency. This piece offers a chronology of Nicole’s journey from addiction through rehabilitation including experiences of incarceration and re-entry during which she drew strength from her religious faith. Nicole vividly describes rooms and furnishings that capture key moments of this journey. Based on these recollections, I made small scale paper models of these rooms, which I then used as references for these interpretative drawings. The title draws from a lyric passage from the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner, evoking historical tensions between American ideals and Black realities. Nicole lived alone in an apartment in Gentilly when she was using drugs. She isolated herself from friends and family in order to conceal her habit. Nicole recounted keeping her drug paraphernalia in the open on her night stand, the only apparent sign of addiction in her otherwise pristine and newly furnished bedroom. Eventually, recognizing the need for intervention and strengthened by her faith in God, Nicole reached out to a friend and father figure who helped her find placement in a rehab center in Texas.
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This object was included in the following exhibitions: