Put A Little Bit Of Time Aside
“Putting a little time aside for clean fun and good humour is very necessary to relieve the tensions of our time” Hattie McDaniel
When I first started playing around with these pieces, the only thing that was on my mind was representation because it is important in visual arts, which is then dictated to us within everyday images. I've been inspired by artists such as Lorna Simpson, Andy Warhol, John Stezaker and Sturtevant. Appropriation is something I tend to explore within my practice because we live in a very visual culture where there are infinite amounts of images that we have access to at the push of a button, which is why I appropriate and rework images to start a new conversation.
It was only after I placed it in a gallery and I was answering questions that I realised it was more than just the representation. As I continue to develop these works it captures the spirit and irreverent beauty of blackness and culture. I have used images from old Hollywood, the glitz and the glamour from the silver screen, these voices that paved a way for artists alike to have a platform. I have discovered new actors, singers, poets, writers and activists but also images that capture black pride. The collaged images represent the depth of our beauty that has built the culture I wholeheartedly embrace today. It's a celebration, knowing that our strength is like no other and through the heartache we have stood tall and unapologetic.
I want people to feel a sense of pride when looking at these artworks and listen to the voices of Pearl Bailey, Sarah Vaughan, Dorothy Dandridge and Joyce Bryant whilst viewing these works. I want my work to educate and inspire.
Rachel Isabel Mukendi