Between What Was and What’s Next
I depict my body, a black, bi-racial female, and how I navigate the spaces I inhabit. It’s a way for me to explore and understand my thoughts about the society that I live. I question: what cultural, societal, familial and personal beliefs influence the perception of self?
Through sculpture and paintings, I perceive my body through references to historical and current media, pop culture, traditions, and diaspora studies. I use color to reimagine brown skin in ways that are monumental, visceral, and disorienting. I position the figure in various contorted poses and cropped views, abstracting the body. "Contort" is essential as I struggle with wanting to both conform to and break free of the various expectations projected onto me from others and myself.
Various materials are incorporated, they include photo transfers and craft material. The photo transfer brings in historic context and the craft material nods to things such as space, cultural events, and body modification. Beads being in garments of African royalty, gems and glitter on carnival-goers, and chains being prevalent in both hip-hop culture and during the enslavement of Black people. The inclusion of collected family photos, found media, and compiled text, etc., all allude to things that have impacted my life, the way I think, and how I'm viewed by others.
Through these works, I am recreating my body. "Re-creation" is done through color, the sculpting of form, or creation myths. The action of making these sculptural paintings is a metaphor of one’s inner turmoil as I wrestle and wrangle the fabric, willing it to form into what I want them to be. The results are massive forms that take up too much space. These mystical, otherworldly figures live in expansive voids, giving them room to create their own worlds and aspirations of the future.