My work is a reaction to the anti-blackness and misogynoir that exists in and is perpetuated through society, the aim is to create a visual experience that uplifts black women, specifically. When creating my work, I looked at my own personal experiences and thought about how I wanted to be viewed and treated. There is an inevitable black, feminine and spiritual quality to my work, as those elements are integral to my being and I hope this translates visually. In my most recent works I have identified beauty, value and love as the main ideas behind my working, as society teaches black women that these themes are hard to acquire without significant struggle. These topics are explored through the main theme of Venus, as this is what the deity represents, astrologically.
Through research, I found that Venus existed in a variety of ancient religions, spreading across Europe, Africa and Asia; and her depictions in art don’t represent that versatility. Venus is often portrayed as a Caucasian, fair skinned, woman, of slim build, with blonde or ginger hair; this emphasises an innate bias as to is deemed as attractive and ultimately hurts those who do not fit this ideal- particularly black women. This disparity is reflected strongly in society. All that Venus represents is shown as easily accessible to white people. Beauty standards, economic wealth, historical and personal value are only granted and maintained by Caucasians in Western countries. In my own way. I wanted to paint Venus in a way that was free of societal standards, whilst simultaneously uplifting black women. The series is titled ‘Rethinking Venus’.