LaChrista Ellis

“Say Their Names”
20″ x 34″ | Acrylic on Canvas | $250

“Do not go gentle into that good night” is a poem by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas. My artwork epitomizes the line, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” (Collected Poems 1934-1952″)

What is meant by this poem is a cry against the acceptance of death. Do not willing lay down and die. Fight to live!

For me 2020 had started to symbolize death, literally with the rise of Corona Virus cases and death metaphorically with the extreme lack of humanity seen when viewing the multiple cases of Police brutality.

Years I have allowed my voice to be heard and raged against the machine so to speak but this year was different. Things were finally looking up in my own personal little world. I was surrounding by loving colleagues and a beautifully family. I, unlike many was able to work throughout the pandemic and did not struggle financially.

Every day as I watched the news, if I didn’t hear about the pandemic I watched as people that looked just like me died at the hands of the police. I know all too well how your life can be affected by becoming an advocate for injustice. With the publicity of social media one comment or video can alter a single person’s day, week, or years to come. Speaking publicly can cost you friendships, jobs, and create family tension.

So, for me, the people that were brave enough to speak up while others were silent needed to be celebrated. While I empathized and went along my daily normal, my heart ached to the cries and pleads of injustice. I was reminded of one of my favorite poems by Dylan Thomas to not go silently but rage against the dying of the light. (Collected Poems 1934-1952″) I felt compelled to create the painting, “Say Their Names” as a testament to 2020. This was my fist held high in the air in support of those that would not and did not go silently. This painting is in support to all those that would not allow humanity to die. This painting, in support of all those that took a stand, and all those that risked reputation and ridicule to stand against the dying of the light; they did not cry how bright their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay.