“I looked over Jordan and what did I see; a band of angels coming after me,”
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Shop

“I looked over Jordan and what did I see; a band of angels coming after me,”

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This long sleeve tee is inspired by the artwork “I looked over Jordan and what did I see; a band of angels coming after me,” by artist Nathaniel Donnett, which is the intro to the Dirty South exhibition at CAMH.

This sculpture suggests the side of an iconic “shotgun” house, from which emanates a violet-blue glow. One window frames an old machete, the kind of tool used in sugarcane fields. This work draws its title from the African-American spiritual “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” In its totality, the sculpture speaks to the history of Black presence in the South and the expression that comes from labor, aspiration, and hope. A familiar style of home found in many Houston neighborhoods, shotgun houses are an African-derived architectural form popular in Southern African American communities before and after the Civil War. Here in Houston, similar structures are still visible in the Third Ward, such as those used for exhibition spaces at Project Row Houses, and in the Fourth Ward, including shotgun homes captured in photographs by Earlie Hudnall, Jr., on view around the corner from this work. Donnett sees similarities between the aesthetic of the shotgun house and his artistic practice, stating, “It’s an entanglement of object and spirit, cosmology and spatial reality, rooted in Black music and Black social life.”