Dawn was initially intended to be a diptych with Midnight. I had read that there were monuments to the Underground Railroad on both the United States and Canadian sides of the Detroit River. The monument in Windsor was said to have been of people crossing into Canada but with one person looking back across the river. Although now I have seen the sculpture entitled International Underground Railroad Memorial, also known as Gateway to Freedom, by Ed Dwight, I was interested in what it meant to physically look back. I had not begun my walk so I felt as if I could only know that there was a beginning point and an end point. So I thought it would appropriate to represent the two facts that I had.
I also was interested in what it meant to stop the motion that was occurring in Midnight. When I looked at runaway slave posters I often thought of the depiction as a solitary character that is careless and literally running for their life. The Underground Railroad was a very complicated system that was made up of many people working together to free a single human being, a family, or a group. I wanted to depict a person that had already seen the road and could finally stop and reflect on that experience.