Black. And? , 2019
Hessian, concrete, wool, sound
I see a movement. A multitude of black women who didn’t get a seat at the table creating their own table. I see these women using their voices to speak out against the stigma and to encourage other women like them to do so too. I see women who aren’t afraid to be themselves. I see a sisterhood that will break through ceilings and move mountains.
(The sound piece was a 30-minute conversation my friend and I had about being black and female in the art department at university.)
H E S S I A N
Oxford English Dictionary definition: A strong, coarse fabric made from hemp or jute, used for sacks and upholstery.
My definition: A fabric which causes irritation and quite frankly just gets everywhere. Forced to be worn by black slaves during slavery. i.e, not just used for sacks and upholstery.
C O N C R E T E
Oxford English Dictionary definition: A building material made from a mixture of broken stone or gravel, sand, cement, and water, which can be spread or poured into molds and forms a mass resembling stone on hardening.
My definition: Black women. A strong material used not only as a foundation but to build high and wide. It cannot be torn down. It’s all around us. It’s part of the very nature of our surroundings. It’s honest. It’s the fabric of a city.
R E D W O O L
Oxford English Dictionary definition: The fine, soft curly or wavy hair forming the coat of a sheep, goat, or similar animal, especially when shorn and prepared for use in making cloth or yarn.
My definition: Symbol of power and warning. Despite it being weak and soft, it has the power to transform something negative into something positive. It demands attention and it will get it.