• Click on image to enlarge

    Photo: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio
Paint, spray paint, rope carpet, metal, wire, canvas scraps, pinecones, industrial sealing compound, on canvas mounted on wood
77 x 102 x 7 inches
Collection of
Souls Grown Deep Foundation

This piece narrows Dial's definition of "refugees" found in his 1988 piece, Refugees Trying to Get to the United States. In the earlier work, the refugees symbolized America's under-classes of all racial types and genders. Here, the refugees are specifically women, restricted by the confines of the simple boat that seems to barely keep them afloat, and by their anonymous masklike faces that place severe restrictions upon their individuality. The waves of the sea beneath them are composed of ropes, symbolizing even more limitations. The water is blue and white, splashed with red (menstrual blood?), indicating that the United States is the sphere of action here. Dial's protagonists are not foreign boat people sailing to freedom but American women seeking equal rights. (The piece also refers to Dial's 1987 Slave Ship.)