Phara's pregnant, reclined rest is enshrouded beneath palm frond shade, and heavy domestic construction materials: cast plaster bandages encasing her body like the Pharaohs of her namesake. Her pillow props her head as if to bear the weight of a headstone or the inherited wisdom of Frantz Fanon's "Tristes Tropiques" description of Caribbean labor and identity constructions.
The Fissured suite of photographs are a polyptych altarpiece (9 photographs) depicting the Mama Spa Botanica process where black and brown pregnant people cast their pregnant bodies in vernacular Mother Mold belly casts, in collaboration with the artist and their reproductive health allies. Medically described, a fissure is an anatomical cleft or tear often associated with trauma during pregnancy. Architecturally, a fissure is the texture most commonly applied to asbestos drop ceiling tiles found in institutional settings including hospitals- often the last image a black or brown mother will see before delivering her child.
The Linea Negra series photographs (2008-present) documents the inception of gender, power and race structures from slogans, slang, maxims and "old wives tales" to internalized, institutional violence. The works celebrate the melanin line appearing during gestation (most prominent in women of color) as a biological pieta; the first biographical mark on the procreative body and the first sign of our creative humanity.