work in progress from; "is it because i'm black"

Graphite, wax, graphite powder, graphite paste, pastels, thread, & staples on brown paper

Kimmel Harding Nelson Centre for the arts - Artist residency, Nebraska City USA - duration 2 months 2007 - ( awarded arts council funding for residency)

During my residency in the USA it gave me the opportunity to respond to a different culture as well as place. I explored notions of iconic items such as the brown paper bag found in stores all over America. Watching films as a child I was always enamoured by (and rather envious of) the simple brown paper bag. I researched its fascinating history of development, its political battles of design between the sexes, and its own racial segregation. I made new work by collecting hundreds of bags, drawing on them, destroying them, re-stitching and re-configuring large sheets that resembled cow hides, and then into new bags again.

I adopted several approaches to making work, using only materials that I could find locally. Thread and wire became mediums to reflect the vast fields of blacken stubs and roots of corn that surrounded the arts centre.

 "is it because i'm black" (including close up details)

Graphite, wax, graphite powder, graphite paste, pastels, thread, & staples on brown paper

 

black corn, black earth, black roots, black times

wire, thread, paint & balsa wood