Current Artist Statement

“How your heart beats as you write. How it should beat. You must feel it you know.

You must feel it and experience
it as something which transforms you. I always feel it,  with each paragraph I write. I have to be at a new threshold.”

Yvonne Vera

Mushakavanhu, T., & Mutiti, N. (2019). PROFILE Yvonne Vera. In Some writers can give you two heartbeats (pp. 44–44). essay,
Black Chalk & Co. 

Rooted in the expansive understanding of three types of bodies; the physical, the material, and the image, my work calls into question what it means to be whole. Self is often narrowly defined by the physical boundaries between our bodies and the world. Our bodies often being viewed as the singular home of the spirit. The framework that I explore positions these three bodies as a system of self.

I am interested in practice as a means of pushing past what we perceive as boundaries of selfhood, aligning with theories of deep ecology, and understanding how these intentions shift the systems we navigate.

Gardens of Grief  2020–2021

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 from our collective understanding of abstraction as a means of creating space for grief.