My work utilizes a variety of media (such as Printmedia, drawing/collage, assemblage, sculpture, installation and film) which act as metaphors for “fracture”.  I am interested in how we – as individuals and communities – construct our own identities and memories from the fractured, disparate elements of our lives.  We do this through our commemorations and the objects we construct and archive. 

 

The work centers on the Near West Side of Chicago: a large multi-ethnic community, and, specifically, the "Black Bottom" section of the Near West Side where black residents once lived. The various parts of the Near West Side and the Bottom were destroyed to construct an expressway and a university; as a result, the community lost much of its history.  My project has been to construct a fictive history for this community utilizing a variety of handmade faux elements: museum vitrines, maps and documents of the community, various sculptures and textiles, as well as installation components.  Recently, I have extended this construction to the creation of a fictional group, the Black Knights – inspired in part by my interest in both medieval heraldry and black activism – who have, ostensibly, lived within the “Black Bottom” community, circa 1940s.  They have used political, social, and guerrilla tactics to fight for the survival of the community.