Despite a revolving door of daily microaggressions reminding me I do not belong, I imagine a life free from the constraints of implicit bias. I CHOOSE to live a life of Joyful Resistance, finding solace in cherished memories attached to materiality.
Joyful Resistance is a celebration of the alchemy that occurs when disparate materials are assembled to create something new, more beautiful, and more purposeful.
All the work in my upcoming solo show was made while the Pandemic took me on a emotional rollercoaster of a journey through self inspection, loss, isolation and racial trauma.
While in lockdown during the first month of the Pandemic, I organized my closet and storage unit. While sorting through my vintage accessories collection, childhood memories of playing dress up in my mother’s clothes flooded my brain like serotonin.
I recreated that moment with All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go dressing the steel structure with Vintage hats, shoes and bags, 3 ply cotton ropes, pearls, rhinestones, wrapped ropes, yarn, trim.
I custom dyed the cotton rope a bright yellow using Jacquard ink, then wrapped it with ribbon, pom pom trim, yarn and vintage fabric from a block print tapestry that hung in my college dorm room.
These three emotional baggage carts explore the Middle Passage and its impact upon my cultural identity as a Caribbean American woman. I still have a lot to unpack here. Both Appropriation Mud Cloth Baggage Cart, on the right and Hi Yellow Mud Cloth Baggage Cart on the left are not covered in zip ties. These carts have unresolved emotional baggage connected to them.
We all carry emotional baggage. This manifests differently for each of us. Some of us carry shopping carts of pain and bitterness while some of us sport a backpack. How we choose to handle our baggage makes a difference. We have the choice, to let it define us or to let it go and move forward.
In 2020 my artist residency with NOW Friends in Nairobi Kenya was cancelled due to Covid. I had spent 6 months preparing for this residency, studying Swahili, researching local artists, looking at basketry and beading techniques.
I used the time I would have been in Kenya to clean, drill and string thousands of bottle caps into larger than life strings of pearls with the help of the Jersey City arts community during JCAST 2021.