Quick one, what 3 words would you use to describe your artwork?
Alluring, enigmatic, vibrant.
Who or what are your biggest influences, and how do you find them? How do these come out in your work?
Art history is a big proponent of my inspiration, particularly Art Nouveau. The romance and sensuality that exudes from this era, highlighting feminity and womanhood. I draw a lot of inspiration from this artform. Black women are my biggest influences! Our stories, the challenges we face, the strength and resiliency we carry. I amplify our voices and highlight our narratives.
Could you select a piece of your work Simone, and tell me a bit about it?
She Prevails is a piece revealing strength and vulnerability. A Black woman is seated cross-legged, a pose centered around meditation, acceptance and groundedness. She is adorned with jewels, calming emeralds colours of the ocean.
Below her is the abstracted pattern of the land, a place in which many Black women have been scattered across the globe, a vast diaspora of African heritage that is the result of slavery channels and resulting refuge. Black women ultimately displaced from the Motherland. Yet, still we remain connected. Together we grow, we build our strength.
Spheres orbit behind the seated figure, reminiscent of planets in universe. Immediately behind her is land and sea, the goddess symbol patterned in blue, summoning fertility and power of womanhood, revealing the quality of the ocean. Papyrus flowers spread up the side, an Egyptian symbol rooted in the beginning of time. A flower used to create paper and aid in the growth of communication and the advancement of an ancient civilization. A ray of light beams behind her in an array of magenta: a new dawn, a new day. The ornament bookending the upper corners, mirror a design within Art Nouveaux, a time where white narratives were showcased - eloquent advertisements rendered with grace and bursting in femininity. By putting the Black woman within this style- I am empowering Black womanhood and reinventing a history. Capturing the flow and eloquence that Art Nouveaux had established. I draw from contemporary events, highlighting that Black lives are necessary. Black women are necessary! And NOW is time for the world to lift up and stand behind Black womanhood. To honour and cherish Black lives. To fight for justice and equality is now, and I showcase Black women for who we are: beautiful.
If you could have a meal with any artist from any time: What would the meal be and who would it be with? Why?
That's a very hard question, too many! I'd have to say Alicia Keys. I am enraptured with her music and her lyricism is so beautiful. Also, I am a pianist, so I recognize the talent it takes for her to play the piano and sing, wow. I want to speak with someone of this time, right now! speak to this global climate and the importance of art. She is also a mixed race woman and I'd love to level on that with her and connect with her. Plus... I created a portrait of her in 2020 and I'm dying for her to SEE IT!!
Who are your favourite current practicing female artists?
Barbara Earl Thomas
Deborah E. Roberts
Erin M Riley
The list is added to every day! Haha!