L'Merchie Frazier LookBooks for Liberation: Visual Storytelling

L’Merchie Frazier is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who explores themes of Black identity in the Americas and beyond.

Black and indigenous people have a shared history of over 500 years in unwritten, unrecognised and unacknowledged narratives about the spaces they occupy, physically, mentally and spiritually.  

LookBooks for Liberation: Visual Storytelling features a collection of L’Merchie’s quilts that select moments to confront the impact of slavery, the relationship dynamics of ownership, becoming property-less, of being deemed property, systemic racism, and the question of belonging.  

The journey to establishing selfhood and importance that is manifest in today’s “call to action” is a trek of reclaiming the right to self-possession and ownership with elevated voice, story and space. Importantly, the direct action to embrace the right to exist, claim one’s own self-worth, beauty and love is a marked effort that fuels the move from insignificance to significance, to matter.

This exhibition celebrates the Decade of African Descended People declared by the United Nations, 2015 to 2025. The LookBook quilts, The Quilted Chronicles series, participates in the restorative aesthetic to promote dialogue via an explorative historical lens, to reclaim the lives and legacies of Black and Brown people, children and their communities across centuries of memory, places and activism. 

The inspiration to create these quilts is supported by archived threads of petitions, speeches, organisations, lawsuits, writings, media, witnessed violence and protests. The experience is documented from the kidnapping of Africans and their arrivals in 16th century, to the American Revolution, through the Civil War and the 13th Amendment in 1865, through the end of American Reconstruction, in a continuum to the 21st Century. 

“Black people have pushed to expand the boundaries of freedom, equal protection and citizenship in the United States and globally. Using art as document, we seek to find their hidden voices and uplift them. These are some of our stories that I want to tell”.