Region: MFA Annual
I trace patterns of personal, familial, and social identity within the genre of Black portraiture. As a first-generation Canadian with strong Trinidadian roots, I grew up in two different cultural milieus. My practice grows from this concern: a negotiation of my enduring cultural divergence between displacement and indigeneity; divided, yet rooted in multiple places at once. In an effort to shift overly simplified perceptions, I offer visual re-creations of both identities. The experiences and narratives that manifest in each work are the result of combining several vernacular photographs into a compositional arrangement. Patterns are taken from commercial representations of the Caribbean and are meant to be easily identifiable, clichéd, and at times, sarcastic. The social imaginaries placed on these nonindigenous patterns satisfy North American desires for a mental state of “island life” characterized by “island dress.” My reverence for my hybridized community is conveyed through my portraits of the Black body in the form of individuals or groupings—the family unit or the community gathering to participate in everyday lived experiences.