Fulbright to Brazil 2018

Purchase instructions: email info@fulbright.org with artist name & details of art piece

Artist Statement

Charcoal and soil from Brazil Drawings: My Practice is focused on creating work that expresses concerns and points of view of the African American experience and documents the beauty of our people and its culture. Since traveling to Brazil I have become much more environmentally conscientious than in my past practice, having developed a deeper understanding of our earth and nature because of that visit. I am now excited to employ the use of the beautiful reddish orange soil from Brazil and recycled and natural materials to express and enhance my work. My use of the Brazilian soil can determine tonal qualities, value or accent pigment when used on paper or canvas. I consider these art works as vessels of resistance when one considers the importance of land ownership and the disenfranchised black, brown, indigenous or enslaved peoples of not only the USA, but the world.

“Healing Wall”: I was inspired to create these pieces by my exposure to the custom of tying ribbons onto the fence of a famous Cathedral or onto wrists in Maranhao, Brazil. I found the custom to be similar to the funeral customs of Ghana. I was intrigued by their similarity despite they’re being an ocean apart. “Healing Wall” is a 3 dimensional interactive art installation that asks participants to write down the name of a black, brown, or indigenous person that has been killed or brutalized by the police or a corrupt system. The participant will write this name on a ribbon and the artist attaches the ribbons to a grid. In Brazil, a black person is killed by police every 23 minutes. In the piece each ribbon represents a human life taken. There are over 4000 ribbons in the piece. Interspersed throughout the work are painted oil portraits of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black and Brown people from around the globe who have suffered or met their demise through this brutality. The artist hopes that by congregating and talking about the occurrence of these deaths and saying and writing the victims names we can collectively grieve. If we can collectively grieve, then maybe we can collectively heal. “ Healing doesn’t mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives.” Native American proverb.