James W. Washington, Jr.
My Testimony in Stone
Odessa Brown Children's Clinic
2101 East Yesler Way
Children's Hospital and the Seattle Art Commission's Independent Program Support
Artist James Washington, Jr. carved a large bird protectively encircling its small chick into a rough stone boulder located on the grounds of the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic. This central area healthcare facility is dedicated to providing quality healthcare to the multicultural families that live in the area.
Washington, the Northwest's premier African-American artist and a long time resident of the Central District, incorporated spirituality into much of his work. This piece includes several symbolic themes. The numbers three and four, represented by a triangle and a square, respectively, held special significance for the sculptor. Inscribed within the triangle are a circle and dot that refer to God and humankind and their relationship to the universe. The work also includes a nest of eggs, another major motif favored by Washington, and the form of a small pig, a forbidden food source in some cultures, meant to represent the inevitable negative aspects of life that comprise part of the whole. For the artist "the functions of life forms may be different, but all life is one and the same. There is no difference," a declaration, as the title suggests, that the artist rendered in stone.