One of my artistic dreams is to restore an old home and create an installation in the process. A few months ago another artist, Dustin Vance, asked me to be a part of doing just that. He invited me to be a small part in a larger show in Columbus, MS. The show is called “Splinter: An Exhibition.” The show will feature minority artists showcasing their work in the old house. I have always found it odd that we leave these old places to rot and ruin. For me- they always represented a sanctuary for the outcasts. Dustin has put together a show making the sanctuary a reality.
My experience on the outskirts of christianity has been the motivating passion behind the piece. I feel queer people that live openly as themselves often feel like outcasts to the majority of the christian body. I do not write this as negativity toward christians as a whole. I am one, and many individuals have welcomed me and others. This is more of a critique and a yearning for the age old institution to say, “come.”
I asked a while back for people in the LGBTQ community to send me images of them to draw in the space. It has been special for me to go in the silence and bring these queer bodies into existence. I am creating life size figures that hopefully move in and out of reality. Appear and Disappear. To me faith is like that- sometimes its as real as the way you can touch your skin and know you exist- other times you cannot see anything, but you can feel the wind hit your cheeks. I am about halfway through drawing the figures, and I honestly need more volunteers if you are interested.
My favorite part of the installation is the writing on the walls. I love words. I believe they havemuch power to change us. I have been writing “we are all the same” over and over again. Hopefully, I am writing the unity of the people that experience the installation into existence. Its been challenging. Sometimes- I forget what I am writing and have to restart or erase. Sometimes- I get tired. I get to see analogies run through my head about trying to unify humans in general. Its hard. We get tired. We get lazy. We forget to respect people different from us. For me, this artistic journey is showing me to keep on no matter how hard the simplest things may be to create unity.
I just wanted to give you guys an update on what is going on with the upcoming show. I wish you so much joy!