These are my application materials for my graduate portfolio
Statement of purpose:
My work is a study of the way experience breaks out of the systems we build around it, exploring sturdiness and resilience in relation to disjointed architecture, circular logic, and fragility. I look at impotent structures, systems that fail to support us due to unimaginative or exclusionary design, and the creative solutions people construct in their stead.
I achieved my BA in 2011 from Brown University with a double major in Art and Africana Studies. I was drawn to Africana Studies because it is a self-determined discipline born out of the repudiation of the systematic erasure of black history and culture from American educational institutions. After graduating, I worked for four years as a manager and curator of an art gallery, moved onto a fledgling farm and began doula training. Immersed in the practice and literature of sustainable farming and birth work, I began to recognize themes from Africana Studies. These were also disciplines that formed in a void between the limits of inadequate systems and the reaches of human experience. I’ve since coalesced my studio practice, birth work, and farm life into a multifaceted art, writing, and research practice.
The process of drawing is central to my work. Through line and markmaking, drawing is a performance of thought—a manifestation of figuring out. My sculptures are an extension of that action, functioning dually as object and drawing. They harness the character of an activated line, showing process, and seeking resolution rather than a sense of finish.
Post-minimalist artists like Eva Hesse and Martin Puryear inspired the foundation of my sculptural language. By imbuing the clear language of modernism with the personal sensibility of their artist’s hand, Hesse and Puyear critiqued the exclusionary structure on which Modernism was based. Now, my work is informed by the way Teresita Fernandez subverts our familiarity with materials to alter our relationships to space, how Julie Mehretu places abstraction in conversation with architecture to explore politics and identity, how Doris Salcedo turns memory into poetry, and how Maggie Nelson parses our understanding of creativity, cruelty, love, and feminism.
I have been reflecting on these ideas in a thematic way, but plan to bring more specificity into my work. This can be seen in Ode to a Shipping Container Lost at Sea, which uses monumental minimalist language to romanticize the relationship between human desire and corporate shipping, expressing subtle humor through that absurdity.
In graduate school, I hope to push bolder decision making and experimentation, and to better express my personality and sense of humor through my work. During a post-baccalaureate semester at SAIC, my thinking significantly advanced due to engagement with a dynamic community of faculty and peers. I hope to continue this momentum in an MFA program in a rigorous and interdisciplinary environment that moves a strong sculpture history in an experimental direction.
Ladder and Rail, 2016
Cage 2, 2015
Ode to a Shipping Container Lost at Sea, 2016
Cage 1, 2015
Permanence: Wood, Oil, Steel, 2016
Floating Cage for FF, 2013
Hold On, 2015
Open Cage: Rectangle, 2015
Tiny Obstacles, 2016
Circus/Barnacle Drawing, 2015
Let Go, 2015
Open Cage: Cube, 2015
Circular Logic, 2016
Swarm/Head Drawing, 2015
Open Cage: Pyramid, 2015
Birth Braid, 2016