Flint Chronicles is an ongoing research project into my family history in Flint, Michigan.
This piece focuses on the history of my grandparents and great-grandparents migration, childhood, and courtship
This installation examines the multiplicity of narratives when recording history. The laborious mission of collecting and matching written family history with historical photographs was a daunting task.
The written history was collected from Angeline Marie and D. Bruce Wistrand’s three daughters: Pamela (Wistrand) Gardner, Carolyn Nur Wistrand, and Connie (Wistrand) Cronley.
In 2008, I was sexually assaulted at gunpoint in my home in Baltimore, Maryland. Making Crime Scene was an act of restorative justice for the ten-year anniversary of my sexual assault. Weaving police tape into a couch cover marked the site of the crime that took place a decade ago. In 2010, I moved back to Michigan to have the support of my family to recover from PTSD.
On Impact: Red, White, and Blue is a curated collection of works that follows the Flint Water Crisis before and after the national media attention.
Flint Town Blues, 2015, pastel on paper
Flint Town Blues was previously shown downtown in Flint as part of the storefront installation of A Body of Water. In 2015, my piece, A Body of Water (not shown) was the first community arts project to address the Flint Water Crisis. Flint Town Blues was a personal response to the lack of municipal response to residents’concerns about the water.
The Heartbreak Hutch, 2018, found object, suits
The Heartbreak Hutch is a tribute to the protest performance, America’s Heartbreakers that was performed in 2016 at the Flint Water Treatment Plant.
In May, 2016, ten women staged a die-in, lying on the steps at the Flint Water Treatment Plant for 20 minutes (representing 10 minutes for each year of being without clean water).
Residue Series, 2017, Flint Water on paper
The Residue series was an experiment in pulling the elusiveness of trauma from The Flint Water Crisis into a material form. The paper was soaked for days and then scrubbed to reveal the pigmented paper.
The Flint water crisis began in 2014 when the drinking water source for the city of Flint, Michigan was changed to the Flint River to save funds. Due to insufficient water treatment, over 100,000 residents were potentially exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water.
After scientific studies proved lead contamination was present in the water supply, a federal state of emergency was declared in January 2016 and Flint residents were instructed to use only bottled or filtered water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing.
This piece is an assemblage of water bottles collected over the past year displaying 48 gallons of water representing each month without clean water in Flint.
In All Of Her Positions examines the multiplicity of identities, roles, and spaces one inhabits over a lifetime. The bedroom is an intimate space where one prepares to be seen, to rest, and dream. The bedroom holds our most private thoughts, desires, and fantasies. This installation reveals all parts of myself that are unseen in my public practice.
In All Of Her Positions, Hair, Collage on Paper, 2017-2018
This is an autobiographical collage of all the roles that I have performed over the past ten years.
Self-Portraits, Mixed Media, 2008-2016
After my sexual assault, I started documenting myself through portraiture as a cathartic exercise for healing.
Performing Artist, Clothes, 2007-2016
In my practice, I often wear “uniforms” or “costumes” when working whether it is privately or publicly.
Between Dreams + Nightmares, 2017
Living in poverty for the eight years has given me time to dream. Each collage is a visual documentation of dreams and nightmares than have occurred over the years.
Dandelion’s Den is a subversive homage on consumerism in Midwest culture of thrift, discount, craft, and large department stores.
All the materials represent collected trash, found, given to me, or purchased at discount stores. The accumulation of packaging for objects is overwhelming when collected and reused as in this installation. Many of the pieces speak to our love for objectifying our relationships with each other and our environment. The work presented in this series examines the object of desire and the tension in the relationship to attain the object.
Referencing my favorite department store, Target was born out of the Rainbow Room at Marshall Fields. The Rainbow Room was Marshall Fields’ discount room. In early college, I worked at Target as a cashier.
Also, often “craft” of an artist is determined by the quality of materials. Due to lack of high-end arts supply stores in the area and ability to pay for supplies- I make work with materials that are cheap and/or free.
Although lead was the primary problem of the Flint Water Crisis the initial cause for concern in the water was due to Trihalomethanes (TTHMS). In 2015, one morning I got out of the shower and my ears were bleeding as a reaction to the unsafe level of TTHMS in the water.
TTHMS are formed as a by-product predominantly when chlorine is used to disinfect drinking water. They are generally referred to as disinfection by-products. They result from the reaction of chlorine or bromine with organic matter present in the water being treated. TTHMS are linked with adverse health effects such as cancer and possible negative reproductive outcomes.
The Ojo de Dios or God's eye is a ritual tool that was believed to protect those while they pray, magical object, and an ancient cultural symbol evoking the weaving motif and its spiritual associations for the Huizhou and Tepehuan Indians of western Mexico. The Huichol call their God's Eyes Sikuli, which means "the power to see and understand things unknown.”
In the summer of 2017, there was a murder and drive-by shootings in my neighborhood. In response, my 11-year-old son, David made God’s Eyesto protect our home from the violence.