My interests as an artist have centered on issues of identity. I have explored my bi-racial background (being half-black and half-white), as well as the dynamics of my family history. The older I am and the more life I’ve lived, my interest in personal identity has expanded to also include womanhood.
In my work, I am interested in how an audience responds to certain visual cues, (based on their own ethnicity and or baggage) in relationship to viewing the same figure bearing light skin or dark skin. Does a bruised pale face elicit a different response than that of darker skin? A passage from “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston has always resonated with me, in which one of the male characters who covets the main character Janie, states that he would never beat her if she was his woman, since bruises would be visible on her light skin. He goes on to say that it’s okay for him to beat his current partner, due to her dark complexion. A line like this reinforces the importance of further examining and exploring the phenomenon of skin color in relationship to history, bias, and understanding.
Through time and maturity, the understanding of my practice as an artist morphs and melds. I have utilized photography as a vehicle for personal expression, as well as a means to better understand myself and my role in this world.
In the past, my work came from a place of self-interest, as it served me first. Now that I have fewer questions about who I am or what that voice is, my work comes from me instead of simply being about me. Over time, I’ve realized that change can occur when one projects what they feel and see. This way the work becomes more influential and accessible to a wider audience. In my current approach, I feel that I can be less literal in what I do, and more subtle or suggestive. Ultimately, my work is a direct product of attempts to reify my musings on appearance and identity.