Beyond_Square Installation view at Gendered Mint Museum Uptown
My practice is a critical response to dichotomies in conventions, discrimination and inequality. I often explore these contradictions by transcending imposed barriers on media and process; and often by juxtaposing readymade and fine art processes; or through social activism. They are global and familial narratives of displacement, memory and loss; otherness, gender discrimination and women empowerment. Efforts to voice diverse yet layered, conceptually linked subjects within a broad theme, have generated projects and series containing a number works or installations in a range of material. And the progression of a specific concern within a certain concept stimulates formal challenges, use of a new material and media, or returning to one used in another series.
The embryonic stage of a new series almost always begins in an intuitive way with creative visualization. Starting with quick small sketches, media explorations, reading and inquiries, I create 2-D/3D objects, installations and interdisciplinary works. Discovery and intuition take precedence over making fully finished layouts, maquettes or storyboards.
My work is about deconstructing tradition and canons that encourage social hierarchy of gender and race; and the parallel equivalent of unpacking imposed constraints in media. Though I use a wide range of material and media this practice is consistent. This process of unpacking has led to community engagement/interaction and film, configuring visual, verbal, auditory and physical activities, making the whole.
These are visualizations of stories of marginalization, gender abuse-assault and survival
Pouring Red: 2019, installation, dimensions variable, approximately from 5.1-5.3-inch H x .06-inch D x .31-inch W, plumbing fixture, red yarn
Left: full view; Right: bottom detail
Pouring Red, the first in the series, uses softer material to reproduce fluid movement. Experiencing the limitations and rigidity of paper to encapsulate fluidity and movement of liquid in Beyond_Square series, I felt the need to explore softer material. For a while, I have been working with felt and yarn to achieve these qualities. In Pouring Red I return to using yarn, a material I have used extensively in an earlier series. First in a new series, Pouring Red explores a very direct, forceful movement of fluid with the property of yarn. The forceful form of the pouring yarn from the pipe and the color red are suggestive of my ongoing work with women’s issues.
What Did You Call Me? (Formerly Words); 2017-2019; acrylic on canvas, pochoir, gel pen, PVC, aluminum; 32H x 97L x 37W inch
What Did You Call Me? parallels two narratives – the black person in the U.S and the untouchable woman-girl in India subjected to religious slavery and prostitution. Ejected onto the floor from each side of a horizontal pipe that tops a single white vertical conduit are fluid forms. One spills words denigrating women from the ancient Indian text Manusmriti (one of Hinduism’s oldest scriptures). The other spills derogatory names for African Americans layered over names of slain black Americans.
Left: Beyond_Square V; installation; 2017; collagraph, burning tool, graphite, cutting; dimensions variable, present arrangement: 48 W x 51.5 L x 1 H inch. Right: Beyond_Square III; mixed media; 2016; 18 W x 28 L x 1 H inch, collagraph, burning tool, cutting, graphite
Left: Beyond_Square I; 2016, mixed media; 18W x 26L x 1.5H inch; collagraph, burning tool, graphite. Middle: Beyond_Square II; mixed media; 2016; 22W x 30L x 1H inch, collagraph, burning tool, cutting, graphite. Right: Beyond_Square IV, mixed media; 2017; collagraph, burning tool, graphite, cutting; 22W x 30.5L x 1H
This series started with square or rectangular prints with heavily embossed ritual patterns. The symmetry of ‘square’ are for me pictorial tropes of rigidity and confinement. Unchanging and inflexible old codes displayed within a multitude of ritualistic symbols and mandalas. By employing cutting and other tools I erase the symmetry of the square to create organic fluid motions.
Works in this section investigate rigidity of squares/rectangles, tropes of inflexible canons, and possibilities of introducing mobility within them using cutting and, or scorching.
100 Squares, floor installation, light work, 2014, etching and aquatint on cotton, felt, LED lights, 90L x 90W x 8H inch
Left: Shifting, print installation, 2014, hand cut relief and wood intaglio on paper, 66 H x 70 W inch; Right: installation view
Left: From Square IV, Right: From Square III. 2013, Relief print with cutting and bas-relief on paper, 23 H x 22.25 W x .5 D inc