The crowd spilled out of the door of the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on Friday night as Auburn students and members of the Auburn community awaited Leo Twiggs’ presentation of his collection Requiem for Mother Emanuel.
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church is Mother Emanuel in Twiggs’ collection. It is where, on June 17, 2015, nine members were killed during a bible study meeting.
Twiggs has explored the history of people who have been targeted throughout his career as an artist. This collection portrays the aftermath of the shooting and pays tribute to the victims.
During the presentation, Twiggs took his captive audience through each piece and what each symbol in them was and why it was included.
While presenting the bleeding target and flag in his Requiem for Mother Emanuel #1 and #2 pieces Twiggs said, “The stuff that you see around here [the target and flag] is what I tried to remember was how that floor must have looked like. The blood-stained floor where these people were killed, the stain, the horror.”
A symbol present in multiple pieces in the collection is nine letter Xs. “When someone dies, the policemen mark the spot with an X," Twiggs said. "And so here, you see the Xs and the spots and the dye. I could splatter the paint so you get that feeling of something slashing and bleeding”
Twiggs elaborated on further elements of each of the nine pieces in the collection with the bleeding target and letter Xs as symbols present in each piece.
Twiggs hopes his collection has an impact on Auburn students. “I hope it creates an atmosphere where there will be a conversation
Requiem for Mother Emanuel is on display now at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. The exhibit is available for viewing until January 7, 2018.