The Middle Passage Memorial is an idea conceived by a collaboration of African and African-American Artists.
It is intended to memorialize and make more mindful the inhuman history of the most infamous period of the African-American slave trade.
The objective is to design new places and enhance historic African and American sites to achieve this purpose. Stull and Lee was invited to join the venture and designed this memorial.
The concept for the Monument begins with a simple cube, rotated and tilted as to defy balance while appearing at rest on a glowing globe, paired with a soaring triangular obelisk which adds visual stability to the composition and symbolizes strength. The experiential sequence is comprised of several provocations: the triangular obelisk, the rotated tilted cube set at a circular “sea” of agitated waters whose source is three waterfalls, a bridge which gives access the the interior volume of the geometrically obscured cube while suspended above the active waters and finally the choreographed movement of both natural and artificial light throughout the monument.
The cube’s interior is where architecture and environment are joined by artwork called “the Quilt”. As the cube’s interior surfaces rise from the waters below, they depict images, forms, colors and traditions of a homeland distant, yet familiar. These images are further enlivened by direct and indirect natural light through a slot in the cube, and animated light reflections from the turbulent waters below.