Artist Statement

My work deals with the social, spiritual and cultural identity of people of African ancestry. Jamaican people and my memories of living there, served as a catalyst for this body of work. The intent of my work is for it to function as a voice for those ‘every day’ folk who are overlooked and shunned because of their station in life. In order to fully represent the intrinsic beauty of many of these individuals, I decided to emphasize society’s fascination with materialism and splendor by using bright colors, golden washes, silk fabrics, and bold patterns.I found that the most powerful images of our time were those that demanded attention and admiration, and I wanted these individuals to have their moment to shine, thus many of my paintings feature singular portraits. I decided to turn regular folk into nobility. Each piece of art is an allegory that represents the soul and spirit of the individual. Their regal state embodies all that is often hidden and overlooked. My work is not about egoism; it is about empowerment of the spirit and recognition of the beauty within.

The golden headpieces worn by all of the subjects in my paintings represent mystical crowns, halos, armor and weaponry for the spiritual warriors. The birds in my paintings are symbolic of my personal struggle with illness, and a representation of my survival and freedom from it.While I enjoy using a variety of mediums to create, my medium of choice is acrylic paint. I also use a variety of mixed media to achieve my goals, including gold leaf and fabric. I am fascinated with the idea of the flat juxtaposed with the volumetric, particularly since most of my work is about emphasis on the individual. I chose to use quilting in my pieces because it denotes a strong historical connection to African ancestry.