The Scape of Lana
The name Lana means “Beautiful Flower” in Swahili. The painting depicts film frames repeating over and over again the gendercide situation that must be stopped.
The basic premise behind my work is faith, family and legacy. It is a time capsule for the African-American experience. I am always looking at how the past relates to the present, and whether or not things have changed or remain the same. There is always a history built into the pieces, whether through process or actual materials. I often use heirloom fabrics, and I think that is why so many people can relate to my work.
This piece is a statement of solidarity with women worldwide. I hope that in their traditions, they find the solidity and cause for hope that I find in mine.
Breathe Series - Breath #2
This piece is a study in metaphor and irony. My inspiration when creating the series was the paradox of a tool that's designed to help one breathe yet can present such a suffocating image. This can be applied in any topic really. Take gender issues for example. Men establish a certain order in society to dominate -- to obtain more "oxygen" for themselves, but in reality the unbalanced social dynamic is suffocating them as well.
I'm interested in the transformation of discarded materials into new form. In the creative cycle, I ask myself, can I pull a second life, a metamorphosis, out of something which has reached the conclusion of its useful life? Can this be a metaphor for the women of the world who have been treated disrespectfully and discarded? I believe it can.
Diana, the Roman Goddess of Nature, Fertility and Childbirth was also the moon-goddess. I'm always amazed when the materials I use find their own voice in a creation, and in the case of "Moonglow", Diana seems present as the protectress of all women.
Engaging with Gendercide Awareness has expanded my consciousness of the vulnerability and abuse of women, and I hope "Moonglow" will invoke the spirit of Diana in us all to protect and value feminine work and life.
The Warrior and the Worrier
My mother’s childhood consisted of tending to her older brothers, so they could go to school and be somebody. When she left her home, she made someone of herself. When she had us, she made sure that as women, my sister and I had a good education, enough confidence, and the right tools to conquer the world. My piece is a tribute to women, who against all odds, defeat the system and better themselves. These women’s courage, to change the status quo for their daughters, demonstrate the power of love and their warrior spirit within.
I painted "Untangle Me" at a time when the one and only "monster" in my life was chasing me non-stop. I felt more and more strength-less with each passing day, but I made it through.
My Art and God was my Savior. They rescued ME.
I am grateful beyond words that I am alive and still creating.
If Only She Knew No.2
This piece explores how clueless many young African American women are about our struggle to be seen as women and not be sexualized as the hip-hop movement has done. It references the many centuries of Black women who fought to uplift the image of the Black Woman only to have this millennial generation throw those values away. My contention is they do so because they really are ignorant of the battles fought by their foremothers!
When my friend, Beverly Hill, first started telling me about the atrocities still being committed against females around the world, I was shocked and horrified, as I'm sure everyone is after seeing the Gendercide Awareness Project display. To me, the horror is not just about the deaths of girls, it's also about the rejection of and the violence against the feminine nature of our existence. In reflection, I've realized that when I enter the creative state where my art occurs, I'm entering the mysterious feminine side of the universe. The world I experience and try to portray is, for me, female in nature.
In response to the GENDAP exhibit, I can't offer a political art piece or a protest piece because I don't even know how to do that. All I can offer is an invitation into the world I explore, the space I was introduced to from the day I was born by my mother, my grandmother, and my three aunts.
Death of a Woman from A to Z
At what moment do the eyes portray fear? This was the intent behind my search through twenty-six portraits that create the series, Death of a Woman from A-Z.
It would take many exhibitions and artist talks before I realized that these were self-portraits and my cry for help. I am a survivor of domestic violence; this body of work is a reminder that some secrets should not go untold.
Full Fathom Five
Collage is a process that mirrors the way the detritus left by human migration across space and time collects and is evidence of that passage. Clothing and other objects meld together to form undulating forms that express of different emotions: both hope and lament. The forms often also relate to the natural terrain crossed on a journey from one home to another: oceans, deserts and mountains. Full Fathom Five is a work that represents the migration across the Mediterranean Ocean. Its colors and shapes are reminiscent of sea anemones and ocean blooms, but are made of fabrics and articles of clothing used by women that also remind the viewer of a human presence. The piece is dedicated to the women and their children who have made this journey on their search for better lives.
Gumshuda - "Lost"
O faceless woman.
"You are the child of the universe; no less than the trees or stars. You have a right to be here." -Desiderata
Dedicated to all the lives that could have been fragrant blossoms in the garden of life. And to every woman who is carving her distinctive niche and spreading the scarlet scent of love and peace all around.
This is a part of a series that honors the landscape of empowering Women. Slogans, words, and songs like "The Future is Female", "Herstory", "Shero", and "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar", need to be celebrated in our vocabulary. These are the visceral visual reminders to engrain them in our cellular memory.
This image portrays the compassion of a wise man. Not long ago, he met a girl who desperately wanted to play the flute. Her family told her they could not afford music lesons, although they were quite prepared to pay for her brother to play football. When the wise man learned of her sorrow, he gave the gift of music to this girl.
To correct injustice against women, the positive role of men who step in to help and support women becomes priceless.