In American colonization, African people were violently stripped of their identity as a means of hegemonic dominance. African language, religious beliefs, cultural clothing, hairstyles, music, and entire way of life was condemned by their oppressors. If African identity was practiced, lethal and legal punishment was a consequence.
This same violation of human rights and expression continues to pervade our society in explicit and implicit systems like schools and workplaces. Black women and girls are twice as likely to be criminalized (in the form of denied jobs and losing days of school instruction) because of cultural dress and hairstyles. School and workplace dress code policies across the nation reprimand ethnic hairstyles like Afros, braided extensions, barrettes, and Locs and refer to them in policies as unprofessional and distracting.
We, as Black and brown people, internalize these hateful messages and lose sight of the beauty and brilliance of our heritage. This internalized hate becomes emotional, mental, and physical.
My metaobjects are manifestations of resilient Black feminine energy. I use the artform of assemblage to explore social bias through color, texture, composition, and materiality. Found objects like beads, textiles, jewelry, thrifted products and personal totems adds “mojo” to the reclamation of these divine feminine sculptures. These sculptures span from 2008 to the present and document a long experimentation where the process of object-making is just as satisfying as the end result.
Metaobjects were on display at the Museum Of Science and Industry in 2017 for the 47th Annual Juried Black Creativity Exhibition.
During graduate school at Illinois State University, I was awarded the Sisters and Friends Scholarship and a Friends Of the Arts Grant for my solo exhibition, Habits Of Survival. This show explored themes of colorism, mother-daughter relationships, generational trauma, anger, and Black hair politics.