The duality of what it means to be homebound -- to be either unable to leave one's house or moving towards one's home -- is explored in the context of the pandemic months. For in those months, though we were restricted to our houses, I believe it was a universal "calling home" of the spirit and self. In this series, my work comes home to the business of motherhood.
Within my own home, like many across America (in which our basic human needs are met and in which we are relatively safe), I found my role as parent/mother had changed abruptly in many ways. I worked to anchor my mind and heart in teaching and learning from my daughters in real time and in raw and seamless conversations from day to day which took the shape of several prominent themes: racial equality, academic studies, freedom of mobility and refuge, separation from and union with those we love, ethical responsibility to others, death, and the role of art and creativity in one's life and in the world. You'll find, to some degree, each of those themes represented here.
I am a multidisciplinary artist creating in words, performance and visual art. While for much of the last 10 years, I have primarily worked in creative writing and performance, my textile work lives in correspondence with my own written poems and essays as well as the work of authors who have inspired my artistry. My work explores the intersectionality of gender, parenthood, race, politics, concepts of home, and tension between the outside and the insider. As a biracial Cameroonian-American raised in Cameroon and then the small Iowa town of Springville, I learned early – though I had no words for it at the time – that race is, indeed, a social construct and our identities and experiences are far more complex than our society honors and allows in its simplified compartmentalization of identity. My experiences as a mother to two daughters and the recognition of the distinctly disparate degrees to which our society conditions our children to think of power and self-worth also informs my work. Whether creating visual art or words for performance, I work to illuminate the relationship between trauma and triumph and deconstruct notions of gender, race and otherness.
Commons Gallery of CSPS Hall