ARTIST STATMENT

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[Conduction] is done by the power of the story. It pulls from our particular histories, from all of our loves and all of our losses. All of that feeling is called up, and on the strength of our remembrances, we are moved “. Excerpt from The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 

My work is a series of paintings based on memories, spoken testimonies, and conversations investigating the relationships between internal conflict and freedom. It explores Black women’s conversations with themselves about themselves and how this interchange can be mentally transportive. Through the use of line, vibrant washes of color, texture, and aggressive mark-making, I capture unseen moments of individuals battling their internal conflicts and exploring their genuine selves against external societal bounds. The paintings/compositions are a glimpse into a realm where emotions are personified and become out-of-body experiences; orbiting, and flowing freely through the host—a visual experience of insight and connection. I am inspired by the idea that connections can be freeing and change perspective—conversation as a catalyst or railroad to freedom. 

 

Inspired by The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates, My series Water Dancers investigates the concept of Conduction and its use to free the mind; concerning the meaning of freedom in 2021. In The Water Dancer, Conduction is a mystical idea that uses storytelling to guide and transport people from slavery in the South to freedom in the North. My work expands upon this idea, exploring Conduction’s capability to occur inside individuals, freeing them internally from thoughts that bind them. In this series, two humans enter into a conversation where they unpack the concept of truth. Together they dance, in the direction of their individual points of view. This series of installations combine my two loves, oil painting and mural-making, to create an immersive shared experience between the viewer and the two dancing.

 

Foundations is a monochromatic series of paintings that challenge the viewer to sit in a single mood, experiencing contrasts between violent and benevolent brushwork. The textures play off of imagery of roots as a metaphor for beginnings. This metaphor is inspired by the idea that Black women are the beginning, the planted foundations bringing forth life to their communities. This sequence of paintings is an in-depth investigation of personal internal conflict without the figure. Memories and lived experiences are channeled into the compositions through the interchange of washes and line. Line invites the viewer to discover the Black female form, painted with fluid surges of energy that embody emotion. Existing in a physical plane, emotional responses vibrate and release on the canvas. 

 

Completion reoccurs as a common theme throughout my work. I play with levels of finish to speak to the condition of being ever-evolving as human beings. Through a process of continuous building and destruction, each work becomes a unique journey of self-discovery.


In addition to my studio work, I am passionate about public art as activism. My collaborative murals bring similar internal dialogue to the walls of Black communities. In this space, my work encourages open discussion about social constructs and resilience. My studio and public works are connected by a common thread: visual conversations that provide insight and understanding into Black female narratives. The magic of healing through conversation inspires me. “And on the strength of our remembrances, we are moved.”