These Memories Bear Traces Of Tears – Reliquary Series # 10: and # 8: Mixed Media Sculptural Relief with Non Ferrous Metal, Precious Metal Leaf, Fiber, Hair and Wood,48″hx 30″wx7.5″d
“My “Memories Bear Traces Of Tears” Series weave stories of the complexity of death within and surrounding the lives of people of color. The series was inspired by my experience and observations of death and ceremony, and those inner dialogues, demons and emotions we have as humans. I have acquired a deeper understanding of the finite time that we have on earth, an increased awareness, intrigue and greater acceptance of mortality and the process of grieving and share this insight in honor of my recently deceased parents, of spirit, sorrow, loss, my inner child’s utter loneliness, the very act of death itself as well as the acceptance of passing.
3. Is there an artwork that you have done that you are most proud of? Why?
I have always been driven to create and have consistently sought out these types of experiences throughout my life. My life as an artist came about as a devotee of beautiful fine objets d’art, a la’ “Architectural Digest” but at the time I unfortunately came equipped with a wanna’ be “Better Homes and Gardens’ budget. I began as an abstract artist, painting murals on interior walls and fabricating my own versions of luxury and artful creations for myself and soon after began designing for people that heard by word-of-mouth or had seen creations that I had produced. I began commercially as a newspaper writer cultivating crafts people, visual artists, poets and literary folks to participate in events for non-profit organizations and grassroot groups that I oversaw and/or created. I originally wrote articles on art events and op-eds specifically on visual artists featuring their work. This soon grew into over fifteen years as a journalist and arts editor with several newspapers in the area and beyond. I have written two books focusing on Artists of Color (AOC’s) in Indiana with the blessing of a literary award from the Indiana Arts Commission, as well as penned years of editorials, columns, interviews and articles about the artists that I love and serve.
As a passionately committed creative, activist/advocate and cultural producer throughout my journey up to this point of nearly thirty years, I am now even more-so invested. At the onset there were few if any opportunities available or welcoming spaces in the Indiana region for artists of color. Administrators and heads of major arts-related entities vocally felt that work created by AOC/BIPOC was/is of little value, were/are limited in scope and that Whites did not want Black artwork or images on their walls. After lengthy research I found that there were/are only a few Black/African American artists even noted in the major museums or art institution’s libraries and archives of Indiana. As a result, I sought to make my own way into the arts arena and to also create a platform for other underrepresented artists to gain exposure, hopefully a career, and to bring about awareness, interest and appreciation for these individuals while aiding them in their quest to acquire a toehold in the arts world mainstream. Success has manifested far beyond my original concept with the acclaimed award-winning Indianapolis-based Annual FLAVA FRESH ! Juried Exhibition Presentation Series Of Contemporary Fine Art. As a journalist and arts editor, I have developed a wide spectrum of networks as well as traditional worldwide sources offering opportunities and information. I myself have taken advantage of a number of these opportunities or invitations, pass the information on to creatives, as well as showcase regional artists in my annual exhibition series initiative.
4. What does your work aim to say? How does your work comment on current social or political issues?
The 2, 3-dimensional visual research that I implement under the “Goddess” persona explores feminine tenets of the lives and mythology of contemporary women of color, my lineage, parallel to their relationship to ancestral and spiritual entities and the Divine Feminine. Each of these works are highly influenced by identity, women’s issues, colorism, Négritude, social commentary, stereotypical assumptions, indigenous wisdom’s-folklore…ritual, myth, magic, and memory.. the sensual, spiritual and the sacred manifest as material in the construct of my works as well as traditional and original personal symbolism, aesthetic reference and imagery pervasive of African and Latin Diasporic cultures depicting allegorical females in a state of self-discovery, insight, mystery, empowerment and affirmation and the connections to a transcendent and physical place, rendered in what I have entitled as being “Goddess Persona.” I am self-taught, my artwork continues to evolve tangibly searching, seeking the essence of reality and spiritual life as seen through the eyes of these women. This work reflects and celebrates my concept and perspective of the sacred spiritual/physical reminders of female perseverance, identity, empowerment, self-love, liberation and ascension. The complexity of the surfaces of my pieces have grown more prominent, the depth of narrative more powerful, my voice exponentially more dominant.