Artist Statement

I am an interdisciplinary artist navigating the African Diaspora, circling the expanse of queerness and traversing through womanhood. My work is composed of the intersections between digital production and analog collections of lived experiences. Digital media allows me the privilege of expanding or collapsing the intersections of race and gender though the lens of language and aesthetics. This type of control over my presences is not always of agency in the physical world so I collect experiences and conversations about race class and gender. I make work allowing the idea to dictate the media in which my responses to these collisions and encounters manifest.

These manifestations take many forms including activism, poetry, painting, drawing, sound and video. I use digital media to access the multiplicity of meaning between language and image. My studio practice is a reflection of the work I do as an activist and collaborator. In my public engagement work I carve space for discussion that allows people of color to express the emotional math they engage in while in predominantly white art programs. These conversations engendered the video work Manchego. In this piece I examine the intersections of race, class, and gender through imagery and language. I wrote a poem that measures the cost of buying manchego cheese in emotional math. In this work I examine the cultural implications of buying an object of escapism to balance the lack of fulfillment.

My activism allows me to engage with the public. I am interested in the role of Art within larger systems of power. As a member of the Paletas SaMo Project I carved a space for city members to express their ideas about public art. Using a model of the gift economy we gave out naturally made and sustainable popsicles in the summer months to any one who desired to share their opinions about the public art in their city. At the end of the project we presented the information to the City Council at the monthly meeting. What I learned from that experience engendered my current body of work Meditations On Rue. While engaging with the community at Woodlawn Cemetery, I met community members with bloodlines that spanned back to the incorporation of the city. They mentioned a need to maintain the history and honor the ancestors through art. Meditations on Rue explores the relationship my ancestors had with medicinal plants. I am investigating the use of African Rue in Africa and the uses of American Rue in the South before 1900. I am creating a series of botanical illustrations and digital medicinal guide to preserve ancestral knowledge for healing.

I come from a working class family who have always participated in community building activities. My work in the community is always present in my practice whether it be leading workshops in transitional housing through Liberated Arts Collective or a series of meditative drawings about the self we present to the world. I process what is experienced using visual language to pose questions. I think of my work as an offering of perception with the possibilities of the familiar and space to engender understanding.