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The inspiration for all my works stem from layers, transitions, and imperfection. The process of blending dark into light brings the truth of dark, representing death, and light from resurrection. Using the color white, in its various transparencies and opaqueness, connects the viewer to their own struggles through the desperation of death and the joy of life in their own lives. I create pieces that produce an uneasy view into death and decay. Blooms and botanicals in the light of day start afresh, bright, beautiful and colorful but then wilt and decay while death awaits below. Death comes for all that live. It is the deceitfulness to pure growth and bloom. Beauty and bright colors slowly become damaged as a natural process.
When I started on my journey to recreate the gracefulness and idealization of perfection, I realized that there truly was no such thing. I found older and wilted blooms on leaves also beautiful even though they were drying out, greying and formally imperfect. Beauty is not only in life, resurrections, or perfection. Death and decay have beauty, too.
I had an epiphany when my cousin reenacted the horrors that cows faced when they are raised in industrial environments. The hormones used to increase milk production, the separation of mother and child from birth, the raping, beating, and slaughtering of these conscious beings. In that moment, I realized that the treatment of African American women and cows is similar.
Reliving traumatic stories from my predecessors and having experienced domestic violence myself, my work focuses on how society views Black women, their roles and dynamics within their families, and how the environments effects their mental and emotional states. The cow has become a symbol of motherhood, awareness, strength, and a voice against injustice. She speaks against being unseen, unheard, and oppression. Her emotional intelligence is shown in the exploration of color, expressive brush strokes, narratives, and broken foundations.
You know that feeling you get when you are floating in a dream? It’s a bit disconcerting at first, and then it gets familiar, warm… pleasant even. You might kick around a little bit, feel as though you are swimming in air. No weight, just a tiny bit of gravity to pull you back (just a little).
In my dreams, I have been surrounded by seemingly anything: my bedroom, my gym’s sauna, a sidewalk near a waterfall in a country I have only seen in films. I dream that I am eating a cherry red Tootsie Pop while flying, and I can physically taste it (that saccharin sweetness enveloping my tongue), that familiar cadmium red.
It’s that disjointed, but also warm fuzzy feeling that reminds me of being “in utero.” I like to think that I paint from within the womb, a creative space where things are growing at a rapid pace: a space that is utterly feminine and deeply spiritual. I paint these dreams in which I feel warm fuzzies, surrounded by familiar places. Sometimes, unfamiliar objects find their place. Other times, I have a little furry guide. Sometimes, it’s one of my daughters. No matter the guide, the dream is often distorted; thus the painting is still a bit juxtaposed with reality. It may be disorienting, but I can still taste the candy. The sweetness is visible in my colors. It’s that cherry Tootsie Pop in a cadmium red.