The sombre look of Picasso's first wife felt pretty relatable to the ways I feel when walking about by myself. It never really came to mind that I was inserting myself into the role of a female character until a friend mentioned it after finishing the piece. I wouldn't see this detail as some kind of "reveal" to a more feminine side of myself. Rather, it probably highlights the indifference gender has onto the similar kinds of attitudes and moods between people. In relation to gender perception, it should be noted that this version of Olga was painted back when their relationship was still strong. She seems a lot more independent and "real" compared to her dehumanizing depictions in later to me portraits by Picasso. For all I know, it may be less that I related to Olga herself but rather to Picasso's depiction of Olga at that time.
Hair and hair cutting is symbolic in many ways. It can be symbolic of your religion, spirituality or even just symbolic to you personally. Hair to me is my safety blanket and when it is long, I feel a sense of security and comfort. My hair colour and length reflect a lot on where I am at in life. Throughout high school, my hair changed more times than I can count. One minute it was long, then the next it was short, red, blonde, pink - I had it all. It makes sense because that was a very confusing time for me with many big changes. As the years went on, I still went through phases of cutting and dying it but there was also a sense of maturity behind it in comparison to how it looked in high school. Fast forward to now and this very strange time in all our lives, I have not been able to go to the hairdressers to get my hair done. My roots were so overgrown, ends split and extremely long. As much as I enjoyed the length, it is what I am comfortable with and getting comfortable doesn’t leave much room for growth. So, I cut it. My goal for this piece was to make it look as though the hair was slowly falling to the floor. For me this symbolizes growth and change, cutting away the old and being left with the new. It was me taking control of something in my life in a time where a lot of that control has been taken away.
The sculpture represents a sea mine; its shadow: a virus. The work was left outside in winter to demonstrate how polymer surgical masks and plastics would not break down and maintain their integrity. Overall, the artwork is about the ocean degradation from plastic pollution which eventually will be introduced in the food chain, thus we will eat the plastic nanoparticles in our fish and crustacean. The accompanying soundscape was about an intensive care unit underwater to link COVID-19 and the destruction of animal habitat.
I wanted this image to very much be a reflection of myself. The photo was born out of the experiences and complex thoughts I've been reflecting on in relation to racial identity when you are a mixed-race individual. This is something I've struggled with a lot, but addressing it in my art recently has helped me talk more openly about it. I originally printed the photo on a cyanotype, so I decided to edit it with the blue tones. I feel the monochromatic colour takes away other distracting information and also speaks to the ambiguous nature of mixed-race experience. I also drew a bit from Bauhaus design with its simple and clean geometric shapes. I wanted to share this photo in its entirety while also embracing the square format. Something I have not readily embraced as a format with digital but love in analog. Bauhaus design is less connected to the emotional; despite this, it gives the image visual harmony but has an underlying conflict in relation to itself and the style.
I wanted this project to be about all the unspoken secrets between people who are very close to each other. It explores the feeling of isolation, even around somebody you love. I publicly called for peoples answers to my question: “What is something you wish you could say to somebody you love?” I received about 15 different answers from different people and I wrote these answers repeatedly all over the outside of a wooden structure I built. Many people talked about ideas of sexuality, gender identity, and love. From there, I took this structure covered in text and burned it, as a funeral pyre for these unspoken feelings. The burnt sculpture stands on its own, allowing you to walk all around it and read the still-legible text on all sides. The final piece has a somber aura to it, as you walk around it you linger in this strange space where these secrets are open to the world, but nameless and faceless. It gives you a glimpse into the struggles of strangers, something they otherwise wouldn't speak about otherwise.