I have been preoccupied by the way in which we, Black women, carry and construct the weight of the world: how we wear it, what we do with it, and what it becomes. I want the world to look beyond the surface and see our ethereal magic and hold our heaviness with care. As a painter formally trained in the field of art history, I excavate the classical representation of Black figures—a history obscured in mainstream contemporary imagery. I depict my subjects in resistance to classical Eurocentric norms by contorting their form and expression. Their facial features are elongated and morphed. They have big hands, big feet and round hips. Their postures are powerful and regal. They hold an elegant grit that is real yet hushed. I imbue energy into each figure by translating the monto canvas in broad, gestural strokes. I allow their spirit to guide my brush, creating forms that reverberate with dignity and solemnity.
Informed by the range of colors found in the natural world, their skin radiates with prismatic pastel and earth entones. I select the colors of acrylic, gouache and India inks in conversation with the dimensions of a space and the natural flow of my materials. I began creating as a child and spent many hours watching my father, a painter, hone his craft. I hold vivid memories of my father’s sensitivity to color, and how he seemed to speak through his art, rather than through conversation. My paintings radiate a gentle, inner contentment, a sense of abundance and an unabashed interest in sheer visual pleasure. These investigations allow each work to serve as a rejuvenation of legacy, inviting the viewer to engage intimately with the figures. My forms act as beacons and vessels for viewers’ perceptions of themselves and their lineage. They urge the viewer to consider their relationship to narratives of Blackness, belonging and femininity.