Tsedaye Makonnen, Astral Sea III, Buckingham Palace Performance

October 15, 2020

Astral Sea is an extension of Tsedaye Makonnen’s work on forced migration and state-sanctioned violence. The textile works are adorned with hundreds of laser-cut mirrored pieces obtained from her light sculpture series. These reflective segments are the negative spaces of the Coptic crosses carved out of the sculptures. Tsedaye arranges them into abstracted Ethiopian Coptic crosses and other Black spiritual and cultural iconography that offer ancestralmemories, healing, and protection, such as Haitian Veves and Kongolese Cosmograms. Makonnen has used Astral Sea I, II, and III in several performances to activate the objects and honor the womxn who are memorialized in her work. These textiles represent water to her and the mirror pieces represent the bodies that have drowned at sea and exist in the wake of the Black Atlantic & the Black Mediterranean.