My work often changes, based on the cultural climate and my personal life. I tend to work in series, collections of ideas, exhausting a topic entirely before moving on to the next. I'm always driven to make a statement or voice a specific opinion based on my unique view of the world, a unique view we each have based on our personal experiences. It is my duty as an artist to be the change I want to see. I emphasize aspects that may go unseen, unnoticed, or disregarded, often taking the alternate position for the sake of debate and revolution.
I have been thinking over this concept for several years but hadn't wholeheartedly pursued it until the last several months. Perhaps due to my recent marriage or at the thought of starting a family, but either way, the time seemed contemporary and applicable. When thinking about starting and raising children in our multiracial family I considered the situations and choices our children would be faced with in the future. This body of work is based on those ideas, those questions and concerns of our society and our future. Almost a year ago there was a Cheerios commercial that created a lot of controversy because the parents were black and white and the child was mixed race. That was a point of insight for me that a culture that I thought had moved beyond this prejudice truly hadn’t moved very far.
The start of the series is a set of historic photographs that have been altered digitally to represent interracial families. I can only hope that if we had started off at the beginning embracing diversity that at this point it would not be thought of as provocative. If I could rewrite our history and our ideas of what a family should look like and make that image more diverse and open from the beginning.
From there most of the work was based on questions that I had, what kind of shoes our children would wear or what color baby doll should they have, or did that matter? How would they be expected to dress or act based on one culture or the other. Our children would have a unique situation, they would have so many interesting perspectives on both black and white culture. Yet, they may also be hindered by preconceived notions and feel a sense of isolation from both groups. And then I also consider would they be able to find a crayon that would be their “flesh tone” since much of our commercial products are only targeted to one portion of our human race. Some of these things I hadn't thought of before, being a white female, most of the nude colors or flesh tone paints, markers, and crayons match my skin. I had never seen it through the eye of people of other races. How limiting it must be to not be able to find products that meet your needs. I explored all of these different concepts through sculpture, video, drawing, and collage. I continue to let my materials be delineated by the concept. This body of work was educational for me and I hope that it creates an open dialogue among society, an opportunity for growth and change. Ultimately I believe that prejudice lies in the unknown, misunderstood, and uneducated, at the core we are all very much the same, but different.