Hanging trees and hollering ghosts: the unsettling art of the American deep south

February 5, 2020

The quilters of Gee’s Bend make art out of recycled cloth. Lonnie Holley crafts sculptures out of car tyres and other human detritus. Self-taught luthier Freeman Vines carves guitars out of wood that came from a “hanging tree” once used to lynch black men. The “yard shows” of Dinah Young and Joe Minter are permanent exhibitions of their art – a cacophony of “scrap-iron elegies”. Almost all of this art comes from Alabama, and it all features in We Will Walk, Turner Contemporary’s groundbreaking new exhibition of African-American art from the southern state and its surroundings.