Artist Statement

Microaggressions are defined as subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups.

The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination, is that people who commit microaggressions are often unaware they are doing these things – and if you point it out to them, they say, “That wasn’t my intention, you are being too sensitive.” Which is yet another microaggression.

I often have the experience of people touching my hair without asking first, which makes me feel like a merchandise on display. The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.

Using racial conflict as a starting point, I juxtapose various fibers with a variety of found materials using free form weaving, coiling, knotting, wrapping and jewelry making techniques.  Meticulously collected recycled and unexpected materials, transformed by their collective memory become “social fabric” weaving together contemporary issues and personal narratives.

Extensions of rope, twine, and yarn impeccably wrapped, woven, tied and embellished with recycled beads, ribbon, lace, tape and bottle cap bobbles lure you into a hue-imbued, installations symbolizing natural hair. These bold whimsically twisted locks gingerly invite the audience into off the-wall conversations about micro aggressions against black women and their hair.

Creating using a combination of free form weaving, knotting and wrapping techniques, I have deployed memories, zip ties, ribbon, yarn, paracord, braided rope, bottle caps, fishing nets and even shopping carts to encourage dialog about implicit bias and stereotypes. The repetitious and meditative process has healing properties. My hope is to make invisible pain, visible as a path towards a more inclusive culture.

One Reply to “Artist Statement”

  1. Miss Thesa this is my first time seeing your works and I am so very proud of you sis. You are brilliant and channeling you ur creativity to share your innermost thoughts and some secrets with the masses is truly inspiring! I see your light is still shining bright!

    Eternal love,
    K. Byrd

Comments are closed.