WHAT WE HOLD ON TO
holding space to bear witness
BEARING WITNESS TO WOUNDS
In this series, I combine the beads and buttons that my mother kept and the chess pieces my father used throughout my life. As I work with these materials, I contemplate the idea that life wounds us and oftentimes we are encouraged to move on quickly like nothing ever happened. In making this work I am bearing witness to those wounds, personal and familial. And as I stitch I'm creating space and allowing time for the collective body to release the energy of the wound, leaving behind a beautiful object as totem.
A COMFORTABLE PLACE OF SELF
This work reflects my broader attempt to find ways to step out of my constructions and come to a more comfortable place of self. What I love most is that this process started with a simple inquiry (what can I make with these materials that I find myself in possession of) and ended up opening a much bigger conversation.
what am i supposed to do with these things? owning the uncertainty. how is an invitation rather than a barrier? how is this a very real and natural way of going back in time. presentation of familial artifacts allow for
Now that I'm holding space to be bear witness, my next chapter holds...
WALKING IN THE GRAY
holding space for wholeness
COLLAGE & PROCESS
Collage reflects me, personally and artistically. I am chaotic in thought, jumping from one idea to another yet thinking everything through – about the pro and con of potential decisions. I love working in several mediums - I enjoy drawing, painting, printmaking, screen-printing, and working digitally. Collage requires intention. It allows for spontaneity to bloom.
Collage and a mixed-use of materials helped me incorporate pieces of important memories into a larger piece that represents myself. For example, yarn serves a dual function. It represents an openness to a new process, as I’ve never sewn into canvas before. Also, it represents a meaningful relationship in my life, as my grandma and aunt taught me to sew when I was young and I hadn’t sewn in years before tackling this piece.
GOING DEEPER WITH STUDIES
In preparation for WALKING IN THE GRAY, I created studies to explore techniques, ideas, and deeper emotional layers to concepts I wanted to explore.
After researching collage techniques, The Concept Study challenged me to explore the process of crafting a message using only online and magazine images. I was specifically inspired by the works of Hannah Hoch.
FABRIC FLOWER STUDY
The Fabric Flower Study allowed me to practice a new technique and explore adding a 3D element. This inspired me to incorporate yarn into collage, as something textured with which the audience could engage with and touch.
The Dual Wood Canvas and Resin Study allowed me to experiment with conflicting, often opposite, emotions, specifically in relation to grief. This is where a single canvas was adorned on both sides; one side exploring joy and reflection; the other side, grief and sadness. With a single canvas holding dual, opposing emotions, I explored the possibility that a single person could also hold opposing emotions and still be whole.
EMOTION STUDY #1
The Anger Study allowed me to explore the complex interplay of anger and my identity as a black woman. I filled a canvas with images that induced anger in order to understand the multiple layers of anger within myself.
EMOTION STUDY #2
The Sadness Study forced me to acknowledge grief in my life and accept it as an integral part of my journey. I confronted my discomfort with vulnerability and my avoidance to be seen in sadness.
EMOTION STUDY #3
The Normal Study propelled me to find a balance between my best and worst self to provide an honest view of myself. I also found a new, unexpected joy for process itself instead of just focusing on endpoints.
Now that I'm holding space for wholeness, my next chapter holds a commitment to growth in my artistic practice.
WORK IN PROGRESS
holding space for acceptance
BRING IT INTO THE SPOTLIGHT
fullness, diverse materials, textures, colors, a full sensory experience (embracing my whole self), i am enough
layers are peeled away and open to the viewer, challenges overcome, complexity
BALANCE & WHOLENESS
visual contrasts to demonstrate the value of good/bad, happy/sad, joy/grief
Now that I'm holding space for acceptance, my next chapter holds intentional exploration.
JOY: PART TWO
holding space for joy
MANAGING TIME FOR JOY
When I’m creating for joy it transports me back to my childhood self. I’m not creating for anyone else, there is no monetary outcome, the outcome itself doesn’t necessarily matter; I’m am just in the moment, enjoying each step of the process. This allows me to try new things and not be so hard on myself.
JOY OF WORKING WITH THE UNWANTED
making art out of trash. authentically engaging with materials that are unwanted or overlooked. more value to the item that we might have thought. enjoyable aspect of ego anxiety. ethically producing stuff in a world of so much stuff. connecting joy with engagement that salvages the unwanted into new forms. feels like solving a puzzle. pieces that don't necessarily go together. it looks meant to be.
USE OF MATERIALS
My typical work is done with fabrics and fibers. But I’ve always loved dabbling in painting, mostly painting rocks on camping trips. I had been dreaming of painting a wooden butterfly to put on the outside of my house when one day one appeared to me on a facebook post. An elderly man who has stage 4 cancer wanted to spend the rest of his days doing what he loved, making plywood cut outs. I took a trip out to see him and his joy of making these cutouts. In this way, the piece is a second version of joy from this man's joy: joy part 2.