Hello World! An update about Eternal Queens Crew in 2015! We’ve been working from the heart this year and are ready to serve up some new fresh flows to feed ya soul + and quench the thirst for the Eternal Queendom (you thirsty?? I know you are!).
Claire and I have been collaborating again with one of our favorite soul sistren Laila Espinoza on a new art show: Home Is Where the Art Is.
The theme of the show, HOME, invites us to collectively explore…What does home really mean? In our increasingly complex and multicultural global community, how do we maintain a sense of home-ness? Where is that? Who is there? What do we do with it? How/What do we create there? Is our home life art?
The show and these questions are matched with our Art Residence Manifesto:
In response to the increasingly growing gap between art and life as well as the the limited opportunities for under-represented artists in accessing spaces for art making and exhibiting, we establish the home as art space.
Because we don’t wait for opportunity, but instead create our own opportunities with whatever means and resources we have readily available to us,
Because we see everyday objects (natural and man-made) as meaningful art materials,
Because our homes are not just for living but for creating as well,
Because our home is the studio where creative ideas are born out of everyday life experiences,
Everyday activities and experiences shall not be separate from art.
With that in mind, Myself, Claire, Laila, and her son Nyanga, worked for 2 months together to build an installation within her home. Most importantly, we gathered. Spent time together. Cooked together, ate together and drank together, we danced, had family time, and allowed for unrestricted play and unraveled a free and unbridled unrestrictive creative process to ensue.
It sounds simple. And it a way it is. Presence with each other IS simple. In our increasingly digitized world, we become separate, alone, and as artists, sometimes our works can consume us. Our studios, depending on where they are can be isolating, and even cave like.
But at our artist residency in Laila’s home, that was opposite. We had no rules, everyone who came in to be a part of our gathering is an artist too. From her 6 year old son, who is a visionary painter already, to our partners, neighbors, and friends who would pop in for a moment. Hot pancakes and food would be shared and a paintbrush offered to their hand. When we create together, we heal together. It’s unavoidable. We become indestructible.
The PROCESS was ELEVATING, VISIONARY, ENERGIZING, and REVOLUTIONARY. We laughed until our sides ached, and slowly with each stroke created a friction that stands in opposition of the institutionalized narratives of “high art” “gallery art”. Our gallery is at home, where the family is, for the family, for our community to understand, feel, and reap the benefits from.
I remember Laila saying, “If my family can’t understand it, there is no point in making it for me”. Its an important question, who do you make your art for? Why?
At times I felt as if we were the many stars twinkling in galaxies. Shineing, burning up in intense heat, chaos and beauty all raveled into one. Deep connection, creative expansion, and collaboration with friends is art, it is home, those ideals don’t need to be separated and shouldn’t be.
Claire was our documentarian, historian, and captured our process on camera. She is putting together a short video to recap our stories. More to come soon J.
For me, the most important part of this was to breaking out of my habitual creative patterns and build with womxn who have their own unique styles. While Claire, Laila, and I all share passion for art that celebrates women, and we all include themes of spirituality and feminism in our work, we each bring a powerful piece of the puzzle to the whole.
So to work along side these two queens was a blessing, they are my teachers. Nyanga, Laila’s 6 year old is my teacher. His freedom and limitless expression is so perfect. This process was like a full circle, returning to the parts of creating that STARTED me to create in the first place—being with friends, having fun, and having no limitations. A childlike and playful mind is a valuable asset in this life that can be way too serious sometimes.
Having them mirror my work and finding commonalities, sharing stories, and influencing each other is a gift.
IMPORTANT PROCESS POINT: to create with people you care about. To break out of boxes of ‘traditional art’, to challenge the idea of what/where art is/should be, and make your home a sacred space for connection and creating. In our hyper speed 24/7 culture where NOT stopping to connect in person is the norm, its crucial that we create and hold MORE spaces for each other to make art, build friendships, and come together.
I’d love to hear your ideas on what home is for you and how you create art in the home! Feel free to share in comments! Peace & Love my brothers and sisters!
HOME IS WHERE THE ART IS OPENS ON SATURDAY, APRIL 18th IN EAST OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA. MORE VIDEO AND PICTURES TO COME SOON!