I am ascending towards becoming myself when I am real. I was handed a contested existence as a Black Queer artist deeply invested in spirituality, Afrocentricity, and love who was adopted by a white family in rural Nebraska; finding authenticity in my race and identity is an evolving understanding, often leaving me with feelings of disconnection. My practice is about the process of healing and reconnection.
These projects show the journey of my identity. The images show the spaces and people that have allowed me to feel safe and beautiful and accepted and loved. In becoming myself I have crafted a language of images and symbology within my practice that documents the unlearning of a deeply ingrained colonialist white supremacist patriarchal word view.
In conversation with my partner I described a brief experience of ego death, “I spoke to real self. Ever since then, I’ve only been speaking to myself. I speak to myself when I speak to others as much as I do when I am alone.”
They responded “You simply, feel. You have no traditions to return to but your own, you’ll just keep reaching forward until it’s all over.”
From a young age I have returned to the image of my outstretched hands reaching for something beyond me, reaching for what I thought was a missing piece of myself. I began to see myself as a Lightworker, incarnated on earth; covering my body in refractions of light and color to show the divinity manifested through me. Using my camera as a tool to capture performative self-portraits that bridge our earthly bodies to higher states of consciousness all are able to view the duality of this existence. The figure always appears to be out of place but you are left with a feeling that it has an eternal existence in that space that surpasses time, materializing the moments of time between moments of time, and the balance connecting deep pain and extreme bliss. Transforming into the divine, I am omnipresent and make every place my home, I become god in this space: the pause between the clap. These projects are documentation of that search; it’s the moments of finding beauty in myself, it’s the times I’ve failed, it’s me reaching for a God and finding them within, and it’s the conversations with myself when I’m real.