Exhibited in VIBE Arts NExT Black Futures 3.0 Program
In Persephone’s Panganat, I share visual reflections exploring the journey of living within multiple identities as a child of Jamaican and Canadian descent. Living within two contrasting cultural experiences, I am constantly navigating the liminal space existing between Jamaican and Canadian identity.
Panganat (pomegranate), fruits, vegetables, and animals are used to visually symbolize this journey of identity, through collage and painting. Persephone, a fertility goddess who becomes tied to the underworld through the consumption of panganat seeds, takes on different responsibilities when moving between the mortal realm when visiting her mother and the underworld when reigning with her husband the King of Hades. Using Persephone’s narrative within Greek mythology as a reference, this work represents the meeting point of two halves of my racial identity and explores the ongoing process of navigating different social realms.
My adaptation of Persephone’s story speaks to the social pressure of forming my identity as a mixed-race person. Migration, relocation, microaggressions have led me to adapt code-switching strategies for social survival. Being compelled to express familiarity to one of my “halves” is a conditioned reaction to avoid being subjected to perceived horizontal hostility. Growing pains associated with learning who I am is enough and that I do not have to be defined by others ideas of race is shared in a series of four collages and a painting that represent transformations, growth, and processing identity.
With my ability to maneuver among both cultures and embrace what resonates with my newly realized wholeness, I am able to celebrate the goddess within me, a conqueror of both realms. My panganat moment is a visual celebration of natural and cultural elements that resonate with me and the idea of belonging somewhere “in-between.”
VIBE Arts NExT: The Future of Art 3.0 - A Celebration of Black Futures
VIBE Arts, in partnership with TO Live, presented NExT: The Future of Art Exhibition 3.0, an exhibition celebrating Black Futures, in the Lower Gallery of Meridian Arts Centre March 16–March 31, 2022. The exhibit continues to run on www.tolive.com as an online gallery.
NExT Artists participated in a nine-month mentorship program led by individual sessions with a roster of professional artists and creatives, attended professional development workshops and networking opportunities, and received funding to create new work as part of the exhibition.
3D Gallery Tour
If you weren't able to visit in person or live overseas, I have a mighty fine surprise for you! A 3D gallery tour, powered by the Matterport app on iPhone created a virtual scan so it feels like you are in the Lower Gallery of Meridian Arts Centre.