I work at the intersections of Black male masculinity and sexuality in the American imaginary, the systematic consumption of Black bodies from their transport across the globe and how the objects left in their wake become vehicles for myth, ritual and memorial.
As of late, I have focused on the Stowage of the British Slave Vessel Brookes as a source material and textile to understand the relationships between the document, its visibility and the ways politicized, raced bodies perform in garments made of the print. In particular, I am interested in fashion as a language of consumption and performance and utilizing these operations to understand the historicized Black body from ship manifests to dandyism and hip hop aesthetics – all places the Black body labors and is the site of spectacle.
Ultimately, the histories of Black bodies in America is commonly erased from textbooks and mythology. To this end, I want to inject new myths and histories into the grey areas and blank pages and imagine new locations and rituals for the Black body. To do this, I have been drawing on research from Saidiya Hartman, Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Michelle M. Wright, and Danez Smith to reimagine the ideas of strangerdom and consumption.
My goal as an artist is to initiate an additional moment of confoundment for the viewer as they experience my work. I am a craft-based artist working in jewelry, sculpture, textiles, book arts, fiber arts, fashion, photography, poetry, performance and installation. I seek to make work that calls the viewer in slowly with its tantalizing beauty and craft until the work reveals itself and its tough underbelly. I believe the slow reveal is a way to reengage with the Black body in a contemporary context due to its stark contrast to the confrontational ways we receive information today. To get to the root of racism, the trans Atlantic slave trade and its afterlives, we need to have slow conversations to uncover the ways these all tie into the fabric we call America.