During the Q&A following a conversation between Fred Moten an Saidiya Hartman titled “The Black Outdoors” an audience member recounted a story about enslaved Africans in the hold of a slave ship. She described a scene in which they used sharpened bits of metal to carve stars and moons in their hair. When I heard this story, I was filled with a reverence for their ability to be in two places at once. In the hold of that slave ship, one of the worst possible places to be, they were thinking about the cosmos, something so far away and so out of touch. During the pandemic, in the height of the rise of white supremacy, I was living in Tucson, Arizona. Drastic environmental shifts due to climate caused 116-degree days and a monsoon season that came and went without a drop of water. The social political climate paired with the harsh environmental conditions had me dreaming of a different future in a different place. A future with stars and moons and water. Little did I know I’d be moving to Indianapolis. My return to the Midwest reintroduced me to spring, summer, fall and winter as well as a completely different sociopolitical landscape.


Indianapolis is not unlike other cities where you might drive by multi-million dollar homes in historic neighborhoods just on the edge of another community in a state of neglect and extreme poverty. Just outside my studio is an repossessed that was owned by a man who lived there his entire life. He passed away in his late 80s at which point his children inherited the home in a state of disrepair. Their efforts to rehab the building were thwarted by the rules and regulations of the historic neighborhood where the house sits on the boundary line. The specifics of those regulations, the high property tax and the rise in cost of labor and materials during the early covid years left them unable to rehab the home. So there it sits. Crumbling under a preserved history that may be completely irrelevant to the story of its life-long inhabitant. I see this house almost everyday, the piles of rotting siding that have fallen away from the building, and I can’t help but wonder whose history is being preserved here…..and whose is being hidden away. Some of the discarded material from that home (and an abandoned playground in my back yard) made its way into this body of work in an effort to preserve some of its true history.


The pieces in this series are an homage to that family and to those enslaved people who, despite horrible circumstances, never lost hope and had the strength to imagine beyond what they were suffering. They depict gateways and windows into a natural world riddled with the residue of racial and economic disparity.

Gateway for ForgettingThis is ProtectedGateway for EvasionThe Only Way Out is ThroughGateway for Day Dreams and NightmaresWinter is the Reason for My Cold OutlookGateway for Premonition Affirming EverythingGateway for Concealment Naptown FallGateway for Remembrance Naptown SpringGet Right With GidBorn to Ride the Edge of NothingReclamationA Moonlit FutureAffirming Nothing