Johnson, (1945 – 1992), a Black trans-woman and activist, was at the forefront of the LGBTQ movement. In addition to being the co-founder of STAR, an organization that housed homeless queer youth, Johnson also fought for equality through the Gay Liberation Front. There is a community beach park in Brooklyn named for Johnson.
29"x20"x45 Encaustic, Deconstructed Fast Fashion Clothing, Thread, Wire, Tree Twig, Hand and Machine Stitch by Sheary Clough Suiter
This installation of six two-sided suspended sculptures created from deconstructed fast fashion clothing conceptualizes secret-keeping from personal, social, and historical perspectives.
On a personal level, often without our own awareness, we pocket away cultural and personal identities from ourselves and others, disguises prompted by the Clothes We Wear.
Historically, women who have contributed substantially to humanity's advancements in the sciences and in the arts have been systematically secreted away, absent from our HIStory books. Each Pocket-Keep gives honor to a noteworthy woman whose place in history is little known.
The Pocket-Keeps also give reference to the 17th century apron-ish pockets women wore under their voluminous skirts, a make-do approach to a cultural bias that provided built-in pockets in men's clothing, but not in women's. This subtle yet unrelenting form of sexism continues to this day as fashion designers include a plethora of inadequate, or complete lack of, pockets in woman’s clothing.