SELECTED WORK - INSTALLATION PROCESS OF ‘TYPES I’

 
 

RESEARCH

The main aspect of my research that a lot of my process harped on was an essay within a book titled, ‘In Our Glory: Photography and Black Life’ by bell hooks. This essay is where I got the three directions that my work is centered around. Those quotes are: 

1. When the psychohistory of a people marked by ongoing loss, when entire histories are denied, hidden, erased, documentation can become and obsession. 

2. The greatest power turned out to be what it had always been: the power to define reality where Blacks are concerned and to manage perceptions and therefore arrange politics and culture to reinforce those definitions. 

3. The walls of images in Southern Black homes were sites of resistance. They constituted private, black-owned and operated gallery space where images could be displayed, shown to friends and strangers. 

This essay provided a more expansive cultural understanding of the politics of representation and how the camera became, in Black life, a political instrument, a way to resist misrepresentation, as well as a means by which alternative images could be produced. 

I am also heavily influenced by Shawn Theodore’s work and his mission to allow subjects who are all too often deemed invisible, not only visible, but relevant in a world where people of color are projected as unimportant and irrelevant through photography. 

CONTEXTUALIZING 

My greatest lesson that I’ve learned while in the Graphic Design program is the importance of process and making sure you consider every single aspect of a piece, from how something is made, what it’s made of and the tools that you use to make. 

With my work, I intend to apply design and photography to inspire people to take control of the way that their narrative is being told. My installation serves as a means by which I could participate fully in the production of images of my family members and peers. 

My work intends to combat negative stereotypes and foster images that reaffirm and empower in a digestible form that my people can comprehend. 

I got here by asking myself what I cared about most when given this task to make. And at that time, I cared most about how the narrative of my people was being presented. In the future, I hope to continue this work around providing a counter narrative for my community. 

FINAL INSTALLATION 

I worked to create a loose interpretation of a wall in a home. My intention was that this wall would serve as a site of resistance, a place where I could choose the images I want to be surrounded by, that I want to highlight, that I want my classmates to see. The images explore ideas of pain, pride and dignity: aspects of black life that I wish were more mainstream. 

I took my first screenprinting class this semester and fell in love with the process of manually printing my own images using a four color process. With my success with screenprinting the four color process images in my screenprinting class, I inherently chose to screen print images that I captured within the past few years of my family members and peers. This was my way of fully participating in the production of images of my people and highlighting/displaying this narrative that I want the world to see more of. 

*The majority of the images captured in my project were taken at the filming of ‘Don’t Touch My Hair RVA’