ARTIST, WRITER & CULTURAL PRACTITIONER
Plexus, Stop motion animation with hand-beaded seashells and mixed media sculpture, 2 mins 24 secs, to be played on a loop, 2021
Statement about Plexus:
Plexus sits within a body of work collectively titled ‘Invasive Species’, which explores environments and relationships shaped by an "exotifying" gaze. The series attempts to internalize or reconcile existing in “paradise”, when we are bound by the lived realities of that space. The limitations we have all experienced over the course of 2020 and 2021 so far have added another layer to what it means to be confined, not only by shorelines and external expectations, but to the very narrow scope of our homes, minds and physical beings.
Plexus arose from my exacerbated experience of restriction. It draws on biological plexuses as hidden, intricately branching internal networks of vessels or nerves that connect to keep a body operative and aligned. In some meditative or religious practices, the solar plexus chakra is also the focal point of the body which is responsible for confidence, self-esteem and being in control of your life and free will. All of these concepts have been thrown into more disarray than usual; Barbados and the world have been confronted with circumstances which have exerted strain on mental and physical health in ways that we could not run from or ignore, inciting feelings of powerlessness.
The beaded shells – used in this series as symbols of life cycles – contract, stagnate and fade while haunting, distorted sounds recorded from my limited surroundings grow louder and more invasive. A web grows in their place, something which keeps me alive, yet remaining trapped by circumstance, and marked by objects that allude to biological cycles and the monthly passage of time. This plexus holds a necessary duality: a system representing a functional body, but one prone to being ruled by frayed nerves, as the constriction and anxiety around the state of affairs remained.
Enmeshment, stop motion animation with hand-beaded seashells and mixed media sculpture, 2 mins 17 secs to be played on a loop, 2020
Statement about Enmeshment:
‘Enmeshment’ is a psychological concept which describes relationships where boundaries have eroded, leading to toxic emotional co-dependency or an “unhealthy symbiosis.” This immersive piece uses a combination of organic/inorganic elements to create an alternate lens for viewing a tropical landscape, subverting the stereotypical, flat image of ‘paradise’ often portrayed of the Caribbean. The synchronised movements of the embellished shells are mesmerizing yet unsettling when coupled with the echoes of distorted environmental sounds, and the plexus that entraps them as they contract and vanish. This interplay of enchantment and tension is familiar in the Caribbean, alluding to the region’s reliance on our landscape to entice a touristic gaze, but feeling the cost and constriction when it comes to agency, autonomy and identity. Enmeshment internalizes this complex reality, and both utilises & scrutinises the concept of escapism, playing with external and internal fantasies that are projected onto the social and physical environment.
Biorhythms, stop motion animation with hand-beaded seashells, 5 mins 36 secs/5 mins 4 secs, to be played on a loop, 2019
Statement about Biorhythms:
Part of the 'Invasive Species' series, these videos play with expectations of life cycles and natural beauty, the decorated shells becoming animated when covered in synthetic material, and in a somewhat ironic depiction of how decay works in this fictional environment, becoming still and lifeless after reverting to their natural states.
Anthesis, Stop motion animation & sculpture, 1 min 13 sec to be played on a loop, 2013
Work produced during my residency at the Vermont Studio Center in May, 2013.
Statement about Anthesis:
An·the·sis: The period during which a flower is fully open and functional. It may also refer to the onset of that period. Anthesis of flowers is sequential within an inflorescence, so when the style and perianth are different colours, the result is a striking colour change that gradually sweeps along the inflorescence.
Excerpt about 'Anthesis' from my article written for ARC Magazine about the residency experience:
"...The flower-like form of the object straddled organic and man-made imagery...My practice has always been heavily grounded in my environment, foreign or familiar, and being in Vermont during May meant I was surrounded by the (temperamental) spring season. This brought to mind flowers opening, as seen in the pastel coloured blooms covering the trees, but it still felt impersonal to me...There is no anticipation of budding life escaping the clutches of winter in the Caribbean, and so spring did not feel as natural to me as its connotations would suggest. The mechanical unfurling of a ‘metal flower’ made more sense to me under those conditions, as well as the desire to activate and give value to a seemingly innocuous utensil..."