Untitled (Funeral Procession and Cotton Picking)
A Southern folk artist, Hunter was fifty-seven years old when she first picked up a paintbrush. Born into a Louisiana Creole family, she lived much of her life as a laborer in rural, central Louisiana where her ancestors had been enslaved. Despite the harsh history of the South, she was proud of her regional culture and African American heritage and it served as the inspiration for her work. Hunter was self-taught and used painting and quilting to document her experiences living at Melrose Plantation, recording a traditional way of life in the South that had begun to vanish during her lifetime. Practicing a form of “memory painting” associated with American folk art, she uses vivid images to chronicle life in the African American community. Images of the local church serve as a unifying symbol in the painting. A funeral procession is linked by a narrative path to a baptism in the Cane River, symbolizing a spiritual cycle of life within the African American community based on its collective religious traditions.