the Limits the Sky
The Limits the Sky is a rhetorical idiom created by a Black comedian to exclaim an unjust biased system. The Limits the Sky implies an uncontrollable limitation that existed for Black and Brown people which evoked a sentiment of suffering and surrendering. The need for money but the lack of well paid careers had both of my college educated parents constantly working and stressing over monthly bills leaving my brother and I to take care of ourselves. We were latch-key kids. Without understanding the violence of capitalism, I had begun feeling abandoned and burdensome. My parents' stress and depression had become mine, just as their parents’ had become theirs and it was my duty to stop the generational trauma that had time traveled within my dna.
For the The Limits the Sky series, I'm playing the role of family researcher, archivist and healer. With the help of my family, I’ve salvaged old family photographs as references for the compositions. I’m documenting and visually exploring childhood stories I grew up hearing and some that I’ve never heard until now.
In order to support my emotional and mental well being and ensure a better future for my children, I’ve embraced my inner child and allowed her to fearlessly inform this exhibition. My goal was to capture the transient nature of childhood and all the vulnerabilities inherent in it. Moreover, understand my personal histories more intimately in relation to the world I was born into.
I've painted, referenced and documented memories to be seen as the perception and exploration of my past self under these conditions and without the distraction of location. Remembering, much like healing, is ongoing. With the removal of place I've had to focus on emotion and shared recollection which contributed to my process of concluding with an universal understanding.
Although I mostly had a good childhood, a lot of issues I grew up with affected my abilities to make good decisions and this is not unique to my narrative. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 1 in 7 children have experienced child abuse or neglect and they state “this is likely an underestimate because many cases are unreported”. Children living in poverty experience more abuse and neglect, 5 times higher and child maltreatment is costly. The total lifetime economic burden associated with child abuse and neglect was about $592 billion in 2018. This ‘economic burden’ CDC stated, rivals the cost of heart disease and diabetes and that’s because child abuse and neglect can have long term impacts on health, opportunities and wellbeing.
Growing up I NEVER felt poor but I do remember standing on pantry lines for groceries, I knew what government cheese looked and tasted like, I was thankful for school lunches and wore my sneakers until they had holes in them but none of this felt like poverty. Little did I know it was deeper than my perception, it was biological. The suffering and fear of my ancestors was in my blood and I had to face it without discretion. This intervention became a visual poem deciphering the healing of my inner child in order to address the ways generational trauma, the maltreatment of Black and Brown bodies and poverty had corrupted my inner peace.