The plot for this story unfolds on a predominantly black surface, a dense and opaque stage, simultaneously present and invisible. From the center of our field of view emerges a more or less indistinct, diffuse and fragmented plethora of celestial bodies. Although, at first sight, the whole universe in which we live in could fit within these confines, we ought to look much deeper, into the margins and beyond the golden frame that adorns the whole. In the midst of this assemblage there is a place of transcendence, hundreds of thousand of light years away, and yet so close, a place of spiritual enlightenment, a safe space for self assertion and revelation, which rises above any cosmic radiation that disrupt our earthly existence. This is the place where the familiar and the universal come together, where disparate individual and intimate stories interact with and inform the way for a greater understanding and a fulfilling state of being. Not all is joy, not all is sorrow.
— A speculative interpretation of the Black experience through the work “Messier 81, Return of the Dove” (2018) by Deana Lawson.