Piecing Together: Reconstructing Identity
These images represent strength and emotion in the aftermath of Diaspora -the displacement of the African people. These works are a gathering of sisters, mothers, daughters and women who show a solid resolve to survive life’s obstacles and to define love and commitment. Their faces also reflect the love and passion they feel for their men, their fathers, husbands and sons. These women challenge us to reflect on a deeper meaning behind the surface. They compel us to look into their faces and respond to their tenacity for life.
In these works I have used my experiences as a Black woman and artist to speak about women of color. I believe these portraits present a humble, yet very solid awareness of the diversity among women of color. Throughout the series, women are represented by earth tones such as amber, mahogany, and Indian red. These images come from my cultural memory; the faces belong not just to one woman who lived before, but come from many. Each woman is framed by domestic objects - spoons, Mason jars, and safety pins. I use these objects to show a connection to daily life. They have also become personal symbols that allow for a spiritual connection and sometimes make historical or social references. I create these images as a visual language to tell the story of each woman. The frame surrounding each portrait embodies the act of memory; it relates to the preservation of the past and constructs meaning for the present.
By combining portraits, text, and symbols; I offer a glimpse into the life of women who carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Whether bitter or sweet, fearful or courageous; they tell stories and sing songs of patience, integrity, faith, strength and always love.