B. Germany 1990
I am not tragically colored. There is no great sorrow damned up in my soul, nor lurking behind my eyes. I do not mind at all… No, I do not weep at the world-- I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife. — Zora Neale Hurston
My work is about navigating and negotiating what it means to be a Black woman within constructs that facilitate misogynoir. More specifically, my current practice revolves around western culture, African American culture, traditional West African religion, odalisque paintings, and figuring out where the Black female body stands socially and historically. Amongst the African diaspora, many believe that African Americans don’t have a culture, but in reality, our long history of music, food, fashion, etc. isn’t recognized. Reclaiming my history and culture has been a two-part process of bringing African American history to the forefront while reclaiming the knowledge of traditional West African beliefs that were stripped from my ancestors.
Inspired by the urge to understand how the intersections in my identity play a part in my natural coping mechanisms, my practice has naturally transitioned into a very experimental process. That process involves a few different elements; drawing, photography, creating different filters with paintings, bubble wrap, and fabric for video work which I approach as paintings.
I bring all of those elements together to create visually soft work that shows the Black female body in a light it isn't typically shown in. When I start making video work/digital paintings, I go into an experimental state and intuitively get in front of the camera and figure out what to do on the spot. Ultimately, I plan the scenery and filters, but once the camera starts rolling I improvise forward.
The majority of my digital paintings are either lengthy or meant to be looped, making time one of the most important elements of my latest work. Before I start a new piece or body of work, I intend for the emotional labor to be reflected. So I want my audience to take that time as well, enter into a meditative state, and immerse fully in the emotional journey my work initiates.
In the end, my main goal is for people to sit with my work, appreciate its beauty, and recognize that the underlying emotion is pain, and the overall intention is healing.