Since 2017, I have developed multiple portraiture series, each crafted to convey the nuanced dynamics inherent in same-sex, queer, and female relationships. Employing a diverse mix of artistic media, including graphite, acrylic, collage, embroidery, and found photography, my work delves into the themes of nostalgia, memory, and love. This body of work is purposefully intervenes in the artistic canon by centering historically overlooked or erased relationships, with an emphasis on the representation of queer bodies and worlds.
The "Friends and Lovers" series was the first in the body of work and includes a collection of mixed-media paintings comprised of oil, graphite, and ink. Reference photographs for this series were original vintage photographs of couples. Conversations with viewers of the work demonstrated they had a desire to see the original photograph. While paintings allow for imaginative reconstructions, photography, in the words of Roland Barthes, serves as a 'punctum' - a compelling testament to the existence of these relationships in the past. This revelation led to the creation of the "Mended Memories" and "Blurs" series, both using actual vintage photographs as a foundation to altar. These pieces were transformed through meticulous processes such as hand-painting, embroidery, and silk printing. The resulting augmented works serve as a discourse on the transformative impact of memory and nostalgia on our perceptions of the past.
I realized that a majority of the vintage photograph sources included only white and femme-presenting younger women with similar body types. This major gap in diversity served as a catalyst for my present and ongoing series - "Queer Domesticities.” This collection of mixed-media narrative drawings explores a spectrum of queer relationships within expansive scenes. A mix of contemporary photograph portraits and AI generated images are used as references, giving more choice and control on the types of bodies included. AI adds a layer of complexity as it digitally imagines 'queer futures' and 'queer bodies.' These narrative drawings contribute to the construction of a queer mythology created from interactions, touch, and ambiguous relationships.
Below is a selection of from each series. More can be found by clicking "work" in the menu above.