Making things is an antidote to processing my complicated culture. Even as s a young girl, self-imposed projects kept me up during the quiet night. Years later, while a student at the Atlanta College of Art, I was introduced to two books: Anthropology and Photography and Seeing with the Mind's Eye. The titles speak for themselves. The first book still influences how I filter images, and the second book- informs my contemplative approach to making art and writing prose.
As a multigenerational Southerner (born in Atlanta in the late 1960s) my womanhood, moral compass, and character were directly informed by the times and the culture in which I was raised. For me, words and images were compounded in the turbulent reality of the exterior world while conversations of social change and history dominated the home.
Fictional and nonfictional stories were often hard to tell apart--on all fronts. Images, either experienced or viewed by photographic means, (familiar and public) depicted states of civil and human rights. The collaboration of "living it" juxtaposed with these words and pictures in various forms, played a significant role in the early loss of innocence. Images, in all mediums, became mysterious, not unlike southern speak. Revelations came between what was not said, or depicted, and what was grandly displayed. Sleeping with both eyes open became a covert operation. Interpretations were reflected perceptions. The truth was revealed in humor- for many days there was no other way it could have been swallowed. Nature offered solace and room for understanding. We learned that what grew had to be planned and cultivated; but, that too had a heritage in its life span. The revolution of life and death was part the furniture in the house. These strange co-minglings left a growing residue to contend with, and much content to filter as the years have progressed.