Rewriting History: Paper Gowns and Photographs
My work is an inquiry into social change as it relates to race. It interrogates the reality of white capitalist patriarchy, the value of black lives, as well as, celebrates the black and brown female body through a haunting photographic essay and paper sculptures styled to mimic garments worn by female European nobility between the 15th – 19th centuries. As part of a developing master series of paper gown sculptures, the series speaks to the shocking treatment of Blacks throughout history and the trauma inflicted on their bodies as juxtaposed with the abstract idea of black freedom. Simultaneously, it engages with a vision of the future – one of hope, resilience, and justice.
The materials used for the paper gown sculptures are transformed in a way that allows me to represent layers of time and the events of the past as they intrude upon the present. Through the materials, I suggest that although we cannot change the past, we can act to change the present, as we activate the memories, visions, and legacies of our ancestors. Rewriting History seeks to reconnect viewers to the past so that parallels with current events are amplified.