Breaking the silence

As I look at my last post, I am transported back to a time where I was optimistic about my future. Where I was full of hope and looking forward to what the rest of the year, and indeed, what 2018 had in store for me.

Those last few months of 2017 were difficult and the first 6 months of 2018 weren’t any better - in fact they were worse. I stumbled through times of complete loneliness, aloness, health complications, feelings of isolation, rejection and abandonment - needless to say this all impacted on my mental health. I sank into a depression that I had never experienced before. Sure, for a while I was able to maintain the charade and wear a mask, but there came a point where I could no longer wear that mask - it was killing me. One of the main things that helped was admission of my position, seeking counselling, and yes, creating some pieces that expressed how I felt.

And how did I feel? Invisible. Invisible to God, to the world, to the country I call home, to men, to ‘friends’ and family. Of course the reality is, that most to this wasn’t true - but boy, did it feel real.

The pieces below are an expression of my rage, frustration and disappointment. In a minimal colour palette, I was able to articulate with paint what I was unable to with words. The wood surface representing the earthiness of being both female and from the African Diaspora. The label 'black’ being assigned to me - somehow, under immense persecution and suffering, we have managed to make ‘blackness’, cool. So it was only fitting that a thick, textured black lacquer be used to to demonstrate this. Red tells the story of the blood spilled, both past and present from bodies belonging to the African Diaspora right across the globe for the benefit, the growth and the gain of others. And gold. Gold tells of the richness in my heritage, whose fullness I will never know.

I hope to continue in this way of working, it was releasing and a cathartic process. I have named the quadriptych: Pieces of a Broken Heart/Black Rage.