For me, the practice of art goes beyond the confines of a gallery or studio space. Creative expression and cultural production are found in our lived experience and in the vernacular objects that surround us. The dynamic and genre-expanding artists Hannah Höch, Romare Bearden, Wangechi Mutu, Betye Saar, and Aminah Lynn Robinson in their own ways created artwork that addressed such intersections. Similarly, I draw from the “stuff” or ephemera of everyday life to reveal the ways in which selfhood, memory, and desire may be visualized from a position of alterity or otherness. 

I use accessible methods like freehand drawing, collage, and lo-fi photography to develop my visual narratives. My interest in using such methods arises from my anthropological curiosity about the “life cycle” of disposable materials and print media. “What do community newspapers, synthetic hair, photographs, plastic beads, junk mail, gift wrap, torn denim, and flower petals tell me about the role of identity in the process of consumption and disposal?” and “how are the remaining fragments of daily life situated in a lived experience of blackness and queer identity?” are questions that I ask myself when I encounter found objects. 

My current body of work is a series of amended photographic fashion portraits and collage works called Meta. The themes I explore in this series are about the self-referential and mimetic features of identity and the making of selfhood. 

(c) 2021 All rights reserved Kara Mshinda