It’s been a few months since I’ve posted. I’ve been working on a lot of things, art, writing, mourning what was lost in the 2016 election, what could have been, but also becoming more driven than ever to make a difference. The following piece is a selection from an artist book I wrote and screen-printed. I made the piece last October, but more than ever, I feel its resonance.
About the piece:
On August 12, 2016, Simone Manuel became the first African American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming. In the Black community, Simone’s triumph is especially significant because of the deep seeded, and often forgotten, history of race in the water. From the journey across the Atlantic, desegregated pools being drained or closed because of African American swimmers, to stereotypes about black people being unable to swim, “water” has never been a safe space. Public pools have been battlegrounds for equality, and navigating the white shores of America has often been a question of treading lightly or drowning.
Within this context, Treading Water is an artist book meant to cope, confront, and address the anxieties I as a black women associate with water and navigating the social climate of America. The book exists in an edition of screen-printed images and text, and mono-printed backgrounds.
Here are a few prints from the work
Here’s a GIF of the poem.