A Soft Fire

Artist Statement:

My artwork contemplates the day-to-day lived realities of marginalized identities. Although I use both acrylics on canvas and graphite on paper within my work, I use these different mediums to express the same underlying messages. I aim for viewers to interact with my work and see parts of themselves within the subjects of the drawings and paintings, regardless of the differences between their personal identities and the subjects portrayed. As a black-identifying person of colour, it is extremely important for me to see people of colour represented in the visual arts. Moreover, through my artwork, I strive not only to have representation that is visual, but emotive as well. My work is largely a reaction to the micro-aggressions that minorities face. The build-up of negative emotion-inducing experiences is often repressed by individuals and largely undermined in a broad societal context. The harshness of lines and boldness of colour within my work is a call against this silence while the softer elements and indistinct transitions between tones shed light on the complex and often difficult to work through emotional experiences of minority groups. Through the contrast in colour and shape within my artworks, I mirror the multi-faceted nature of the everyday experiences of minority groups. As well, combining various textures and varieties of realism within pieces draws attention to the varying levels of one’s true emotion and experience shared with the world and community around them. These artworks invite viewers to reflect upon the extent to which they allow themselves to be vulnerable and honour the validities of their struggles in a world of systemic suppression.