Lightening [Not Lightning]:Reflecting on the an equitable way to empower and illuminate a community through the arts.
During the process of allowing myself to become the topic of conversation within the Houston arts ecosphere I attempted to make sense of what I was dealing with. I had just watched a documentary that followed the rise of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s popularity and subsequent election. It felt as if I had watched a group of filmmakers capturing lightning in a bottle.
It sat with me and I rolled it over in my mind several times. I wished to find a way to incorporate light into my sculpture, but I did not have the means to explore these options. I did possess gold embroidery floss, which I could use as a substitute for the materials needed. I also had several acrylic sheets of various sizes that I had received from Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. I would often be called when they were cleaning and found items they were hoping to dispose of.
I thought of ways in which I could elaborate on what I was experiencing, while also tying together several additional narratives. I wanted to address how I was treated at CAMH and the hours of unpaid work. I wanted to address existing in a space where ceilings never seemed to move out of your purview. I also wanted to find a means of expressing how I had been navigating the arts and life in general, up to that point.
I made two pieces initially. The first was of a single suspended piece of acrylic being engaged by a strand of the golden floss. The second exhibited a single strand of floss engaging two sheets of acrylic. Over time I would create a third piece that would have a single strand of acrylic engaging sheets of acrylic only to be encapsulated within an acrylic cube.
The entire process of creating these works would later allow me the presence of mind to become vulnerable with three very special individuals in my life who would help to move me forward as I was beginning to question my access to any forward trajectory.
I saw these as visual representations of what people were witnessing, or would be privy to in the coming months and years. I wanted to make a statement that no obstacle, no matter the magnitude, would prevent my arrival.