Built on a foundation of painting, drawing and photography, my recent work consists of moving image, performance, and text. I am particularly interested in how these forms of art interact with, originate from, and are removed from Blackness. The moving image and the performance of my writing, usually monologues, faintly resemble the preaching and teaching styles seen in Black Pentecostal churches. This subtly underpins my practice as I draw upon my upbringing in the Christian faith. The use of language and imagery is intending to document important and marginalised experiences with a gentle and powerful voice; not dissimilar to the ‘tough love’ I experienced growing up. Much of my work derives from conversations, imagery, workshops, and teaching. Each of these processes reference my role as an artist educator where I, again, attempt to engage in critical conversations with the love, sincerity, and urgency; elements that are evident within Black Pentecostal church culture.
My work not only considers identity politics and critical race theory, subjects which have been explored in Western art for centuries, rather it explores the ways in which I can use the qualities of Blackness to have conversations about any other subject. To do this, I have been focusing on linguistics; the behaviour and politics of language and the Black women who raise and love me. Along with the incredible contribution of work made by the Blk Arts group in the 80’s and 90’s, I am inspired and charged by the writings of Stuart Hall, Bell Hooks and Toni Morrison. All of whom discuss, in various ways, the politics, othering, and power of Black identity.
“I [am relearning] to to speak more conversationally, with rather than at an audience, in the rhythm of my own feelings”