To place myself in the world early on, oral history was all I had as cultural knowledge. My sense of self and connection to blackness was provided through my family. The dominant historical narrative continues to expose important truths that are left out of the conversation and rarely reflected on. If I am to believe history as it is written -I do not exist- there is nothing to be said about me or any other race. I have recognized in order for me to have a sense of belonging, it will not be given to me freely more so something I have to search and fight for.
I intensively reflect on this circumstance through my work, and it has resulted in a strong desire to research independently in order to compensate for a lack of representation and guidance. Recognizing the power of text has expanded my practice with literature, language, and art. I choose to use this newfound purpose to highlight my position in this space, and to prompt the viewer to contemplate. With this in mind, creating titles for my artwork directly informs the conversation, and takes away some of the weight of explaining the piece's purpose and meaning. In doing so, altering perspectives and approaches to continuing constructive dialogue about the African American diaspora.
I create large-scale works on cloth with charcoal, stitching, and appliqué in order to explore forms, symbols, and text. Using fiber, charcoal, clay, and text I reveal themes of race, identity, and cultural critique. Charcoal has an entrancing presence depending on the way it is used. This messy, dark, and at times uncontrollable material has the ability to be visually agitated, anxious, and finite depending on its application. It can reflect time and agency, become dense and textured through layering, yet it is as fragile as dust; delicate and ever-changing. Whether obsessively making small marks or utilizing my entire body to transform large shapes with layers upon layers of charcoal, my work converses about time, counting bodies, or representing objects in history as a conversation about dehumanization and personal self-reflection represented in the slave auction block titled "Come, Stand on the Throne."
Positioning my personal experiences and myself in relation to object and subject, I create artwork that brings consciousness to the experience of the "other," or more directly, our oppression. In my artwork, I bridge personal experiences with history. My work demonstrates a connection between the repeated unchanged past and begins a conversation of understanding and reflection in the present.