The Beheld Beings
India Ink Drawings on Digital Photo Paper, variable dimensions
In my series,The Beheld Beings, I explore the (de)materialization of physical form through portraits interlaced with images of plants, palm tree leaves, and water. I create these mixed media pieces through an integration of photography and drawing processes. Photographs form the foundation of these artworks. I begin my compositions with portraits of elegant black women that become abstract through the digital layering of images of natural forms. The digital collages begin to dissolve and take on new states as I draw layers of lines and stippled dots over them with black, white, and color India ink brush pens.
These mixed media drawings represent my intensive exploration of the power of mark making on paper. They are portraits of women shrouded in mystery, their faces seemingly decomposing, dematerializing, yet formed by an infinitude of carefully drawn marks. The imagery of some of the women in the photo drawings reflect hybridity that seems part human, part plant life. The gestures I employ reveal my body as a visceral element of the drawing process. Traces of my body, my movement and presence linger, while tactile strokes of India ink brush pens disrupt the surface of what had once been smooth, unmarred photo paper. I depart from and follow vestiges of the photos that underlie the drawings to reveal emergent new beings. My photo drawings relate a sense of abjection circumscribed by beauty.