Primary: A Meditation on the Necessity of Black Women in Afrofuturism.

This year I am honored to be participating in “Meet The Artist XXXII.” I created 3 new pieces especially for this year’s show; which is centered around the theme “Afrofuturism.”

As defined by Wikipedia, “ Afrofuturism is a cultural aesthetic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of history that explores the developing intersection of African Diaspora culture with technology. It was coined by Mark Dery in 1993 and explored in the late 1990s through conversations led by Alondra Nelson.”

With that in mind, I choose to focus on the role of black women in the future of the diaspora. Each piece is intended as an exploration of the centrality of black women in both technology and culture. We are primary generators of zeitgeist. Everything we do is cool.

We are so often imitated yet go uncredited for our contributions to culture, to art, to science and philosophy. It is time to start thinking critically about who is profiting from and being credited for our contributions. By representing black women as primary (both in color and composition) I am seeking to call attention to our centrality in culture and civilization building.

I make artwork about black women as a method of documenting our note-worthiness. Our accomplishments and our natures deserve time, attention and exaltation. When we choose to make artwork about a given subject you push it forward into the future. When you encapsulate an idea, it becomes meme-ified. I want the idea of black womanhood to be filled with love, joy, beauty, reverence, possibilities. That’s the purpose of the artwork in essence; to push black women forward. 

Each canvas is an examination of the relationship between visual stimulus and human experience and how that can shape identity. Each composition is designed with the figures at the very center providing balance and gravitas. The use of rich “primary” colors speaks to the  western artistic, religious and historical traditions; while the gold tone geometric framing speaks to ideas about science and mathematics. 

Each figure in the series is adorned with an illuminated WiFi symbol to conjure ideas around connectivity and community. Black women are so often the backbones of our community. They create and maintain our culture throughout the diaspora. It is through our social, religious and business networks that the community continues to flourish and exist. As we move forward, our community and culture will continue to grow through digital networks. The future and advancement of black women lies in our ability to maximize our connection through advanced technology. 

If you would like to see the finished pieces or learn more about “Afrofuturism” please come and join us on February 8th, 2020 from 5:30 to 10 PM for our gala and opening reception at the Central Library at 40 East St. Clair St. in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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