Kingston, Jamaica Next: Ottawa, Canada

Dorothea Rockburne (American, born Canada, 1932)

Folded Sky, Homage to Colin Powell, 2009, acrylic and 23 carat gold leaf on canvas, 16 x 41 feet

“Making art, for me, has always involved a combination of thought, research, intuition and very hard work. In bringing a work of art to life, I don’t rely on words but rather on what I see in my mind’s eye. Working on this mural has not only exposed me to the wonders of Jamaican culture, but it has also produced a work of art that captures the spirit of cross-cultural dialogue. While ‘Homage to Colin Powell’ pays tribute to one of America’s most distinguished diplomats, this is not just the night sky of one man’s birth. It is the same night sky we all share as humans of a collective earthly experience.”

Dorothea Rockburne was commissioned by FAPE in 2006 to create a large-scale mural for the atrium of the U.S. Embassy in Kingston. The work was done in honor of Colin Powell and his family, who come from Jamaica, and depicts the sky at the time of General Powell’s birth. The 41-foot mural was installed by the artist in 2014.

Rockburne is an abstract artist, drawing inspiration primarily from a deep interest in mathematics and astronomy. Her work has been seen in one-person exhibitions at numerous galleries and museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Parrish Art Museum; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the National Museum of Women in Art, Washington, DC; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Gift of the artist with additional funding provided by The Honorable Leonore Annenberg through the Annenberg Foundation, Bank of America, The Honorable Ronald S. Lauder and Mrs. Jo Carole Lauder and the Cobb Family Foundation

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Photograph by Paul Warchol
© 2009 Dorothea Rockburne / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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