Gardens of Grief 2020–
Grief can be understood as a process of relearning one’s sense of self after a loss has occurred. Interpretations of grief often sit in relation to the passing of loved ones while denying the complexity of what can be lost. Within a society that relies heavily on domination, loss is positioned as an inherent constant that many navigate daily. Within my current body of work, Gardens of Grief, I explore grief as a continuum. I lean into this constant fragmentation as a place of triumph, rebirth, and space for ancestral knowledge to pour through. Within these explorations, I investigate the lack of space to process grief in a culture of domination and the things that grow from it.
Each piece functions as a capsule that captures the many facades of loss. They hold paralyzing tides of pain, sadness, anger, and acceptance. The triumph of surrendering to the abstraction of self-ties back to visual abstraction traditions within the African-Diaspora. There is strength to pull our collective understanding of abstraction as a means of capturing both the representative and spiritual.
Each piece starts from tangible representation, featuring an axis line, figure, and typography. The axis line is a symbolic anchor that fragmentation spills from. Both the body and language are pushed through layering that creates motion and establishes the sense of something actively falling apart while coming back together. The color that envelopes these symbols represents the friction produced by movement and unseen energy sources at play. Burlap functions as the base of each piece. There is an intervention of the visible grid structurethat is interrupted by cuts along the access line and unwoven sections. In many ways, the gridded fabric speaks to domination culture's framework. The act of stiffening the fabric amplifies this intervention andsits as a gesture of creating space where there seemingly is none.