“As a child, I would spend summers at our family farm in Virginia. This ritual of traveling from the North to the South all the while being fed the stories of how we grew to gain the property and how the “Big House” I would be staying in was built by my three times great grandmother’s sons. The house was a step back in time prior to the flight of the Great Migration which sent masses toward opportunities in the North. Through this experience, I was drawn to the history of the log cabin that held generations of my family in a home surrounded by photographs that chronicled our history.
This experience helped to foster an interest in visual storytelling while fusing the wood that surrounded me during the summers of my youth. My strong affinity for imagery and history has led me to focus on creating a visual lexicon of the African American experience and self-identity.
I’ve spent hours compiling a photographic catalog of female and male images that cover the African diaspora over different geographic areas and historic periods. The prints are collaged, painted, destroyed and reborn to create a re-imagined visual narrative. I use reclaimed large and small aged wood fences, as a symbolic reference to how fences keep people in and out, just as racial and gender identities can act as barriers in our society. These fences are then arranged as ‘altars’ as icons to honor the strength and determination of each subject.”