Future Undetermined

Jennifer Mack-Watkins American

Not on view

In this print, Mack-Watkins, a mother and an educator, visualizes Black babies’ time in the womb and contemplates their futures on earth. Babies tumble through a space filled with text, targets, and mathematical formulas. Nebulas evoke creation and stars symbolize mortality, while other visuals refer to positive childhood experiences, such as creative expression and education, as well as negative elements, like the inequities and mistreatment the children may encounter. The artist Betye Saar (born 1926) acted as inspiration for Mack-Watkins here. The influence of Saar’s art, especially her 1990 print Return to Dreamtime, is formalized through Future Undetermined’s vivid blue background, visual elements, and use of symbolism.

Future Undetermined, Jennifer Mack-Watkins (American, born 1979), Mokuhanga and screenprint

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Jennifer Mack-Watkins, Future Undetermined (2021.53.2) © Jennifer Mack-Watkins