From 2016 to present I took photos of chairs I found all over New York City streets. I knew I would return to my street chair collection and began my investigation during the Sustainable Arts Foundation AIRspace Parent Artist Residency.
The project looks to personalize as many of the 200+ photos of chairs outdoors. The collection of artworks consist of painting, printmaking, pen drawings, photographs and a large mural.
I’ve entitled this series ‘Dis Place’ because of its ability to define the multiple facets of the artworks. The title describes the movement of the chair from inside to outside but also the ability to revisit the chair’s intimate connection to the human form becoming symbols synonymous with transient bodies forced to leave home. I think about the historical connection humans have to chairs as chattel and the movement of enslaved people all over the world; so the title is a play on colloquial language as well. Dis being a version of this alluding to English learners mistaking the pronunciation or phonics of the language. And Place being a portion of space available or designated for or being used by someone something. Each title of the artworks are its location(place), date and time of the photo.
Although the act of displacement for people is emotionally distressing and painful, it’s a continued practice with a very long history. My compositions look to document and question the repetition of the practice as well as highlight the beauty of fearlessness, resilience and persistence of its survivors.
My DNA reads like World History. I’m 35% West and Central European, 35% West African, 10% Iberia, 7% North and Central American, 3% East Central African, 3% North African, < 2% British Isles and West Middle Eastern, and < 1% South Central African/ Southeast Asian, Oceania and South American.
As a woman of many ethnic, racial and cultural backgrounds I'm enlightened with the understanding that my ancestry affixed me to the oppressor as well as oppressed so my work is to resolve the trauma, return to the beauty that exists in humanity and nature and advocate for the return to a moral economy that protects the basic rights of all humanity and our environment.