S . I . G . H . T . S .
Statement of Work
I see my work, as a form of writing without letters -- a poetry in space which
acknowledges a sense of feeling, of presence. A writing of the body, in
the body, that bypasses the over-worn grind of thought -- healing personal,
ancestral, and global traumas while still engaging the power of light that
the mind can bring. My work is my beacon call. It draws a black light
through the air, guiding my life through its ancestral sea. I invite you
to share in my journey.
but, i can pray (2011, Oberlin College)
This work was meant to empower me to seek light through deep trauma. The
title "But, I Can Pray" refers to times when I had none to help me but
prayers and I still made it through. It's meant to bring clarity through
a crossroads, a theme that I constantly return to in my work. I used
materials that I could find a discarded stairwell around Oberlin to create
a cathedral in which traditions of Africanity, healing, beauty, spirituality
and brilliance could dwell, soar, and thrive.
Oberlin was a time of rediscovery, when I came to understand the power of
my instrument through Jazz improvisation. I was trained classically. I
won a concerto competition with the San Antonio Youth Orchestra. But, the
pressure, stress, and material I was to play caused my body to suffer and
worried my mind. Jazz was a way to come through and heal, to come back to
who I was, find my place, sit in my light, and share my brilliance.
Agwe (2016, New York)
My work is about scale. It likes space. I didn't have the space to
work three-dimensionally in installations, so I began to use these concepts
that I learned crafting space to craft space on a textile with the idea of
Adire, a Yoruba indigo cloth, in my heart. My first were simple, only
six feet square. They have been growing, this one is at least 14 feet long.
I'm curious to know how far they'll go.
This painting was made for the Hatian deity Agwe. Good to sailors, the
stable lover of Erzulie, the
lead me, guide me (2015, Brockton, MA)
Presented without comment.
On Judgement Day (2015, Roxbury, MA)
Growing up in San Antonio, there were Monarch butterflies that would engulf the city every fall
coming from the midwest, heading to Mexico City. There are less now. Pesticides and herbicides
which kill milkweed have got to them. Essentially, greed killed the butterflies. But, I used to
love the legend that they were the souls of the dead coming home to rest with the living for a while--
to show that after we cross the beyond there is joy and beauty and life. There is something tragic about
their journey. They die from the effort. They lay their eggs in Mexico and their children
fly back. I imagine that at the end of the world, on Judgement Day, everyone will turn into a monarch
butterfly and the whole world will fly home.