My weaving, You Are So Articulate, is currently displayed at the 2021 New Jersey Arts Annual: ReVision and Respond at The Newark Museum of Art.
Each piece of yarn used to in this weaving is representative of a particular conversation where I was acknowledged for being able to express my thoughts and ideas. As you can see this conversation comes up quite a bit.
You Are So Articulate comes in many forms, including…
you speak so well… you are well read… you speak white… and even “that went better than I was expecting”, comment after I nail the presentation.
Telling someone they are well-spoken is a back handed compliment. It carries the connotation that, it is unusual for someone Black to be intelligent.
The completed weaving is displayed on a DYI loom, as if, it is a work in progress because some version of this conversation, continues still, till this very day.
Racial Gaslighting, hides in plain sight in everyday interactions. It subtly shifts dialog from a racist topic at hand onto the accuser – forcing me to question and re-assess my own response to racism, rather than the racism itself.
“You’re being overly dramatic.”
“Are you sure it was about race?”
“I’m sure he/she didn’t mean it like that.”
Intentional or not, these types of comments trigger a spiral of self-doubt and create a convenient way to avoid uncomfortable conversations about race.
The constant questioning, twisting and undermining of personal experience and what I know to be true – has had a compound negative affect upon me, manifesting in insomnia, anxiety and hefty amounts of emotional baggage. Through these works, I am exercising these demons.
This exhibition explores implicit biases facing BIPOC communities and the aesthetic armor for protection I have created to shield myself.
Death by 10,000 Paper Cuts uses recovered commercial fishing net, 10,000 zip ties and silk sari yarn to illuminate the impact of microaggressions.
The term, Death by a thousand cuts is derived from a form of Chinese torture known as lingchi, where a person is subjected to hundreds of small cuts until death occurs.
If you get one papercut, it is uncomfortable, but the wound eventually heals. Imagine getting multiple paper cuts on a daily basis.
Small cuts upon cuts upon cuts. This is what microaggressions feels like. You will not die from one paper cut, but the experience of multiple insults, both verbal, nonverbal, and/ visual underpins very real consequences for me… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of invisibility and powerlessness.
Exhibit Dates: April 23 – May 28, 2021
Opening Reception: Sunday, April 25, 2-4:30pm
Location: Studio Montclair Gallery; 127 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042