A multidisciplinary artist whose labor intensive works are anchored in a curiosity of truth telling. By investigating a collective, more inclusive story around American history, the layers of  history begin to reveal how injustices against people of color inform our understanding of society today. The discoveries of pre existing documentation and objects are reused or recreated by hand. Through this action, the labor connects me to my work subjectively - moments to feel through the stories. My goal is to build a critical examination of societal social constructs of identity and culture.

 

Sites of trauma, remain an interest of mine - how does one's presence remain in a location and how do we memorialize said location?. The ongoing project entitled “Many Thousands Gone,” uses popular over portrayed imagery sourced from news articles to challenge our perceptions. By removing the crime scene or the memorial where a person of color was killed by a police officer the creation of visual meaning shifts. As the images become emotive they stimulate a personal exploration to interpret the meaning of what may seem to be seen in a collection of mundane images throughout history.

 

The poetic gesture behind the removal and replacement of a site where a traumatic event occurred has initiated my most recent work. A vast chasm of memory for the one lost, “...writing his dream inside a rectangle.” is an exploration of the story behind the location at Canfield Drive in Missouri (38.738360, -90.273701). In a minimalist form, 950 pounds of hand painted gravel takes on the trauma’s abyss in a 8x20 foot rectangular floor piece. The labor put forth in this piece is an action by myself to communicate with the void of absence. By touching  every piece of gravel, the mixing and molding into shape adheres  presence in the deep immeasurable space.  The title for the work comes from James Baldwin’s obituary. Otto Friedrich, a friend of Baldwin, wrote the words and recalled a story from Paris when he was writing Baldwin’s obituary for Time magazine. He wrote “...he would occasionally take out a ball-point pen and start drawing a large rectangle on what was left of a beer-stained paper tablecloth. Inside the rectangle he would slowly write, ...the dream that enabled him to survive the bleak and penniless early years in Paris, the dream that... really was a novel and would someday make him famous.”

 

The shape of the rectangle is a container in which can hold.

 

As the surface is removed - exposing the soaked layer underneath. The layer which holds the story, the memory, and the trauma. “what remains,” the artist book, explores the surface of the second layer in eighteen pages. It is a visual story through an unexplained motif exposing the trauma it holds - the unjustified pattern of police violence against black and brown bodies happening in the United States. This book is dedicated to the life of Michael Brown and the story it remains to tell.

My interdisciplinary, labor intensive practice is anchored in my curiosity to learn and push for truth telling. Beginning with an acute exploration of American history I investigate a collective, more inclusive story around the current society we live in. By rooting my practice in historical events and our current political time, I develop an understanding of how the injustices against people of color throughout history inform our understanding of American society today. The discoveries of
pre existing documentation and objects
are reused or recreated by hand, to build a critical examination of societal social constructs of identity and culture.

 

My current research is centered around sites of trauma. The ongoing project entitled Many Thousands Gone, is an exploration of overly portrayed images of police brutality cases in the media. By using appropriated imagery sourced from news articles the work is using the exact images we may see, however, by manipulating each of the images I challenge the viewers perceptions of site and memory through what remains to be unseen. The removal of the crime scene or the memorial where a person of color was killed by a police officer creates a shift in visual meaning as the images become static, emotive and a personal exploration to interpret the meaning of what may seem to be seen in a collection of mundane images throughout time.

 

The poetic gesture behind the removal and replacement of a site where a traumatic event occurred has initiated my most recent work. A vast chasm of memory for the one lost, “...writing his dream inside a rectangle.” is an exploration of the story behind the location at Canfield Drive (38.738360, -90.273701). In a minimalist form, 950 pounds of hand painted gravel takes on the trauma’s abyss in a 8x20 foot rectangular floor piece. The labor put forth is an action by myself to communicate the void of absence - mixed and adhered with presence in a deep immeasurable space. The title for the work comes from James Baldwin’s obituary. Otto Friedrich, a friend of Baldwin, wrote the words and recalled a story from Paris when he was writing Baldwin’s obituary for Time magazine. He wrote “...he would occasionally take out a ball-point pen and start drawing a large rectangle on what was left of a beer-stained paper tablecloth. Inside the rectangle he would slowly write, ...the dream that enabled him to survive the bleak and penniless early years in Paris, the dream that... really was a novel and would someday make him famous.”

 

The shape of the rectangle is a container in which can hold.

 

 

 

 

Source: “Bearing Witness to the Truth James Baldwin: 1924-1987.” Time 130, no. 24 (December 14, 1987): 80. Academic Search Complete.