Artist Statement

I see my art practice as an investigative tool, as a way to engage in dialogue, a platform for thinking and a means to develop knowledge. My work has evolved from figurative and symbolic explorations in painting to a variety of modes that include drawing, video, performance, installation and public intervention projects. Therefore, the emphasis of my work does not lie in the medium, but in creating a space to explore social contexts and collective narratives. History, film, soap-operas, fairy-tales and mythology all inform my work in that they are both narrative modes that I use as well as sites of investigation. I look for the narratives inscribed in various objects and places and find ways to add to them and at times subvert them. Because I live in the Virgin Islands, a place that has changed colonial hands seven times, the longest being Denmark and the last being the United States, I am particularly interested in the colonial and neocolonial narrative and how it shapes identity, memory and reality. (return to website)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Exhibition: Anatomy of an Heirloom at Top Hat Gallery with Gerville Larsen and Niarus Benjamin



The show opened March 3, 2016. I showed two series of work: the "Cuts and Burns" series I have been working on for about a year and this newer series of photo-montage work that consists of juxtaposing images to create alternative narratives. 
 
“Fatalism and Fairy Tales and the Predictable Magic of Everything” is a photo-montage that uses two images: one of a story written by the artist’s brother as a young child and saved by their mother; and two of the same brother as a teenager captured in the middle of the act of dunking.  The piece questions which of these images in the fairy-tale, the act of the boy attempting to fly, or the story of the boy with the fatalistic future, surprisingly imagined by a young boy himself. The piece re-creates a tension between the hope and hopeless often experienced in the growing up of black boyhood. 
These photo-montages are a series that explores images from the Danish archives of the Danish West Indies and juxtaposes them with images from the personal archives and albums of the artist. They included images of the artist as an infant in the Virgin Islands and young child in Wisconsin while her father went to seminary school. There is an image of her mother carrying her youngest brother and an image of her father who was a Moravian and later an Anglican priest. The narratives embedded in the images become collapsed, converted, contested and re-imagined in the simple gesture of juxtaposition and/or adding captions to the images. Most of the captions are directly from the archives and then text is added to incorporate another layer to the narrative.